Former Panama dictator receives 7-year sentence in France

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
July 7, 2010 16:44

PARIS — A Paris court on Wednesday convicted former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega of laundering drug money in France in the 1980s and ordered him to spend seven years behind bars — a sentence that comes on top of his two decades already spent in a US prison.

The three-judge panel also ordered the seizure of €2.3 million ($2.89 million) that has long been frozen in Noriega's accounts.

Noriega, who gives his age as 76, was deposed after a 1989 US invasion and went on to serve 20 years in a Florida prison for drug trafficking. He was extradited to France in April to stand trial on accusations related to his assets here.

The prosecution argued that millions of dollars that passed through Noriega's French accounts during the late 1980s were kickbacks from the powerful Medellin cocaine cartel.


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