The lawyer for ex-Panama dictator Manuel Noriega [Telegraph profile] said Monday that a court has granted Noriega leave to prepare for brain surgery at home instead of in a hospital. Lawyer Ezra Angel had argued that Noriega should not be required to prepare in a prison or hospital, and that his home was the only place that would be adequate. Noriega, 82, has a benign brain tumor [NYT report] that has to be surgically removed.
Noriega was the strong-man dictator of Panama from 1983-1989 until he was ousted by US troops sent in by former president George HW Bush. In 2011 Noriega was sent from France to Panama where he has been serving a prison sentence for the murder of opposition leaders during his dictatorship. In 2010 Noriega was extradited to France from the US to stand trial for money laundering, where he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment [JURIST reports]. Noriega was originally convicted in the US of eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering in 1992 [CNN report] and spent the next 17 years in a Miami federal prison.