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Jul 18,2007
U.S. wants Noriega extradited to France
by UPI

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Justice Department wants former Panamanian President Manuel Noriega extradited to France when he's released from a Miami prison this summer.

The 69-year-old was captured in 1989 and convicted of cocaine trafficking, racketeering and money laundering in Miami. He has also been convicted in Paris in absentia for drug trafficking, CNN reported.

Tuesday, Justice Department lawyers filed papers in a Washington federal court seeking a formal arrest warrant on behalf of French authorities, which would lead to his extradition to France when his jail term ends.

A French court convicted Noriega in 1999 on drug charges and imposed a 10-year prison sentence and a fine of about $15 million.

Noriega's attorney, Frank Rubino, said he would fight the extradition using protections afforded by the Geneva Conventions as Noriega is a prisoner of war entitled to be repatriated after his internment.

Noriega is expected to be released from the U.S. prison in September, having served about 15 years of a 30-year sentence.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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