Noriega Has Been Handed Over to Panama, French Government Says

Manuel Noriega has been handed over to Panamanian authorities to extradite the former dictator to his homeland, the French Justice Ministry said in an e-mailed statement.

Noriega had been serving a French prison term on money laundering charges after having been imprisoned 20 years in the U.S. for drug trafficking. The 77-year-old Noriega, who was overthrown in a U.S. invasion in 1989, has been convicted in absentia in Panama for the murder of political opponents during his six-year rule.

The Panamanian officials accompanied him on a flight to Panama City via Madrid earlier today, TF1 Television said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Gregory Viscusi in Paris at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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