US judge refuses to halt Noriega's extradition to France

A federal judge refused Friday to block the extradition of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to France, where he faces up to 10 years in prison on charges of laundering millions of dollars in drug proceeds through French banks. Senior US District Judge William Hoeveler rejected arguments by Noriega's lawyers that his status as a US prisoner of war negated the French request under the Geneva Conventions and required his return home to Panama.