Noriega jailed for 7 years

FORMER Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was jailed for seven years in France yesterday after being convicted of laundering drug money.

Noriega has already spent 20 years in US custody for drug trafficking and was extradited to France in April.

A prosecutor said millions of dollars passed through Noriega’s French bank accounts during the late 1980s were kickbacks from the powerful Medellin cocaine cartel.

Defence lawyers said the charges were part of a global political plot against him. In court, Noriega said the money in his French accounts came from personal and family businesses. He also said some of it was payments from the CIA.

Noriega had long been considered an important CIA asset before he joined forces with drug traffickers and was implicated in the death of a political opponent.


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