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Former leader Manuel Noriega to be charged in Panama


13:40, December 12, 2011

BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- Former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega left France on Sunday, bound for his native Panama.

He faces further punishment after more than 20 years in US and French prisons for drug trafficking and money laundering.

The 77-year-old departed on Sunday morning under escort from Orly airport, south of Paris. Panama convicted him in absentia for the murders of two political opponents in the 1980s.

Panamanian officials say he will be sent straight to another jail cell when he lands. Panamanians insist on punishment for the man who stole elections and dispatched squads of thugs to beat up opponents in the streets.

But others believe Noriega’s return means little. He suffers from high blood pressure and partial paralysis as the result of a stroke several years ago.

Noriega faces immediate punishment for the murders of military commander Moises Giroldi, and Hugo Spadafora, a political opponent. Noriega could also be tried for the deaths of other opponents during the same period.

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