France says it will begin proceedings to extradite former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to his home country.
Noriega served 20 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering before being extradited to France in 2010. He had been sentenced in absentia in 1999 to seven years in jail on charges of money laundering.
Panamá has requested Noriega’s extradition for his role in the killing of the leader of an attempted military coup in 1989. He also faces charges of murdering political opponents.
France agreed Monday to return the ex-general to Panama after the United States gave its approval for him to be extradited. Washington’s consent was required under existing treaties since he has not yet served his full term in France.
Noriega came to power in Panamá in 1983 and maintained a firm grip on the Central American country until he was ousted by U.S. forces in 1989.