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France Confirms Extradition Of Noriega

Former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega has already spent 15 years in a U.S. prison.
The French government has confirmed that it plans to extradite former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to Panama, where he faces a lengthy jail term.

The Foreign Ministry said Noriega, who is serving a seven-year sentence for money laundering in France, has been informed of the decision.

His lawyer said he does not plan to appeal. A former army general, Noriega ruled Panama for six years before being toppled in a U.S. invasion in 1989.

Before he was extradited to France last year, he spent more than 15 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking and money laundering.

In Panama, Noriega faces 20 years in jail for human rights violations during his rule. He could be back home as early as next month.

compiled from agency reports