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After two decades in U.S. and French Prisons, Manuel Noriega is back in his home country for the first time since 1989. He was extradited from that country after spending a year n their prison there for money laundering. He laundered several million dollars through real estate in the city of Paris. Noriega requested extradition.
Noriega, now 77 years old, was off-loaded from a Iberia Airlines jet at Panama City. Video showed an old bent over man in a parka being placed in a wheelchair while family of his many victims shouted at him from a distance. He was sent back to Panama to serve more than 60 years of prison time due there. He was convicted of the murder of Major Moises Giroldi, and Physician Hugo Spadafora, the massacre at Albrook, deprivation of Major Humberto Macea’s Freedom, corruption and embezzlement.
He was transported from there to a helicopter that transferred him to El Renacer, Panama’s maximum security prison in the jungle near the Panama Canal.
People in Panama are split as to the punishment the deposed dictator should face in that country. Some believe that he has endured enough punishment and think he should now be freed, while others feel he should be under house arrest because of his advanced age. Others still, mainly family of individuals that died under his corrupt rule, are calling for the full punishment for his crimes in Panama.
Noriega spent 17 years in prison in the United States after he was convicted on drug trafficking charges. This stemmed from his activities with the Medellin cartel. He protected shipments of cocaint through his country bound for the U.S. He did this as the same time as he was on the CIA’s payroll as a secret envoy to Cuba. A position he was recruited for in the 1960’s.