Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega arrived Tuesday morning in France — where he was extradited to stand trial on charges that he laundered drug money.
Noriega arrived in Paris aboard an Air France commercial flight from Miami, Florida.
US. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a surrender warrant Monday, clearing the way for Noriega’s extradition after he spent more than 20 years in a U.S. federal prison.
The move came as a shock to the Miami attorneys who have defended Noriega for more than 20 years.
“I would have hoped, if an order was signed, that the State Department would have the courtesy to respond to his lawyers and tell them an order was signed,” said Frank Rubino, Noriega’s criminal defense attorney.
“I’m in total shock they did this without the common courtesy of a phone call. They owe us, as his lawyers, to keep us informed.”
For the past two and a half years, Noriega and his attorneys had argued that the United States was violating the Geneva Convention by not sending him back to Panama, where he was seized by U.S. troops after the United States invaded Panama in 1989.
U.S. federal courts ruled against him.
His last shot had been an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which rejected hearing his case in January.
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Article courtesy cnn.com