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Noriega to be extradited to Panama

Noriega to be extradited to Panama
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The former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is to be extradited to his homeland from France to serve a 20-year prison sentence for human rights crimes. An appeals court in Paris has finally confirmed a ruling that had been delayed by legal complications.

Noriega has been serving a seven year sentence in France for money laundering since last year. That followed his extradition from the US where he had already completed 17 years behind bars for drugs smuggling.

The 77-year-old had been an ally of the US during the 1980s, with his regime seen as a counterweight to the leftist Sandanista government in Nicaragua.

But he soon became an embarrassment to Washington, turning to crime and dealing in cocaine. He was ousted by American forces in 1989.