[JURIST] Lawyers representing former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega [Wikipedia backgrounder] Monday filed motions seeking to avert extradition from the US to France on money laundering charges [Reuters report] when he is released from federal prison on September 9 [JURIST report]. Noriega's lawyers argue that Noriega should remain classified as a prisoner of war under the Geneva Conventions and therefore should be repatriated to Panama. Noriega's hearing is scheduled to begin on July 26.
Noriega, a former US ally who was ousted by US troops in 1989 [BBC report], surrendered to US troops in Panama City in 1990. Noriega has spent the last 17 years in US custody, including 15 years in federal prison on drug trafficking and racketeering charges. Panamanian officials are also seeking to extradite Noriega [BBC report], who has been sentenced in absentia in Panama to 90 years in prison for corruption and conspiracy to commit murder. VOA News has more.