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Updated: July 7, 2010 18:27 IST

French court sentences Noriega to seven years in prison

DPA
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Panamanian military strongman Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega talks to reporters in Panama City, in this November 8, 1989 file photo. AP.
Panamanian military strongman Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega talks to reporters in Panama City, in this November 8, 1989 file photo. AP.

A court in the French capital Paris sentenced former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega on Wednesday to seven years in prison for money laundering.

Noriega was found guilty of hiding in French bank accounts some three million dollars made from the sale of cocaine. He eventually used a large part of the money to purchase real estate in Paris.

In 1999, a French court had convicted him of the charges in absentia and sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Noriega, who is in his 70s, was extradited to France in late April. At the time, he demanded to be treated as a prisoner of war and returned to Panama to stand trial there on the charges.

“I have a right to everything that would be expected for a prisoner of war under the Geneva Convention, including a return to my home country after my imprisonment,” he said at the time.

A French court rejected his request.

Noriega spent 21 years in a U.S. federal prison after being convicted on drug charges. He was captured in 1989 after an invasion of Panama by U.S. military forces.

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