They were friends once… Before there was Osama bin Laden, there was Manuel Noriega, a one-time American ally who’s been on the outs with the ol’ US of A for over 20 years.
France is now set to send deposed Panamanian leader Noriega, 77, back to Panama to face punishment for three in-absentia convictions of human rights violations. Each conviction carries a 20-year prison sentence.
“Once a US ally, Noriega was deposed by invading American troops in 1989, amid allegations he had turned Panama into a drug-trafficking hub.
He was extradited from the US to France last year, having been sentenced in absentia there in 1999 to seven years in jail.”
Noriega’s lawyer confirmed French PM Pillion had ordered the extradition last week. He was convicted here of laundering millions of euros into French bank accounts and properties in the 1980s, including three luxury apartments in Paris. At 77 years old, he’s not going to kick up a fuss about it either, says AFP:
“Noriega has one month to appeal the decision, but his lawyer said he does not plan to do so. A legal hearing has been set for September 8 to finalise the execution of the extradition order.”
In Panama, criminals over 70 years old are permitted to serve their sentences under house arrest.
Not quite as dramatic is the woeful tale of Dominique Strauss Kahn. Read all about his fall from grace in the Carnet Atlantique.