US extradites Noriega to France on money laundering charges Jaclyn Belczyk at 9:04 AM ET
[JURIST] Former Panamanian military leader Manuel Noriega [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] arrived in France Tuesday to face money laundering charges after being extradited from the US. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton [official profile] signed a surrender warrant Monday after a federal judge lifted the stay [JURIST report] blocking his extradition last month. Noriega will appear Tuesday before French prosecutors to hear the charges against him, which stem from allegedly laundering $3 million in drug profits by purchasing property in Paris. Noriega's lawyers have said they will seek his immediate release [AP report], arguing that he is immune from prosecution as a former head of state.
Noriega has been fighting extradition [JURIST report] since 2007. Last month, the US Supreme Court declined to reconsider [JURIST report] Noriega's petition to stop the extradition process. His lawyers filed the petition in February after the Supreme Court denied certiorari [JURIST reports] on the case in January. Noriega, who has been declared a prisoner of war, sought to enforce a provision of the Geneva Convention [ICRC backgrounder] that requires repatriation at the end of confinement. Noriega and his wife were sentenced in absentia [Reuters report] to 10 years in jail by a French court in 1999, but France agreed to hold a new trial if he was extradited.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.