San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Jailed Former Strongman Eyes Return to Panama

MIAMI, Florida – Panama’s former dictator, Manuel Noriega, who was overthrown by U.S. forces in 1989 and who has been in prison in the United States for 17 years, will be released in September for good behavior and plans to return to Panama, his U.S. lawyer said.

“There is no turning back,” Noriega’s attorney Frank Rubino told The Miami Herald. “The order is obligatory, and nobody can stop it. He’s in good health and he wants to go home.”

Noriega, now 72, was convicted on drug trafficking, money-laundering and racketeering charges after a U.S. invasion toppled his government in December 1989.

While in prison, Noriega was also convicted in absentia on murder charges in Panama, and on money-laundering charges in France.


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