San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Noriega could be extradited to Panama by Sunday

Panama’s former dictator Manuel Noriega could be extradited from France on Sunday to serve prison time in his native land, officials said Wednesday.

“We are trying to confirm whether Sunday is the day,” Panama’s Minister of Government and Justice, Roxana Mendez, told AFP.

After spending more than 22 years in U.S. and French prisons, Noriega is expected back in Panama before Christmas, following a French appeals court’s ruling that he could be extradited to serve time for crimes committed under his iron-fisted rule of the 1980s.

The former U.S. ally, now 77, ruled Panama from 1983 until his overthrow in a U.S. invasion in 1989.

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