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Noriega to fight French charges

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Noriega to fight French charges

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Lawyers for Panama’s former leader Manuel Noriega say his extradition from the United States to France is against international law.

One of his defence team told reporters he cannot be prosecuted for crimes alleged to have been committed while he was head of state.

“General Noriega has been notife of an arrest warrant issued by the French prosecutor. He was very weak when he appered in front of judges and is undergoing medical treatment. We are going to fight these irregularities in his extradtion is France,” said Olivier Metzner.

US authorities handed over the 76-year-old to face charges that he laundered the proceeds of drug deals in French banks, before using the ‘clean’ money to buy luxury apartments in Paris.

Noriega headed Panama’s miltary dictatorship from 1983 to 1989.

Disputed elections sparked violence in the final year of his rule. US forces invaded to restore order, capturing and jailing Noriega for more than 20 years on drug charges.