Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Noriega trial begins in France

Former dictator Manuel Noriega is accused of laundering cocaine-trafficking profits through French banks
Former dictator Manuel Noriega is accused of laundering cocaine-trafficking profits through French banks

Former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega has begun speaking in a Paris courtroom in a trial that could send him to jail for another decade after 20 years in US custody.

Noriega is accused in France of laundering cocaine-trafficking profits through French banks.

Asked about discrepancies in his date of birth on legal documents, Noriega initially said he was born February 11, 1936, and then immediately corrected himself, saying he was born in 1934.

Noriega's shoulders were trembling. Wearing a black suit and with his black hair slicked back, he spoke through a translator.

His lawyer Olivier Metzner argued that Noriega - deposed in a 1989 US invasion - should be sent back to Panama.

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