A federal judge today rejected former dictator Manuel Noriega's request to return to Panama following his release from a Miami prison next month, the Miami Herald reports. Noriega sought to avoid extradition to France, where he faces a 10-year sentence for a conviction in abstentia on money laundering charges. Noriega argued that
he was entitled to repatriation under the Geneva Convention because he was declared a POW by the US in 1992.
The judge dismissed this argument, countering that Noriega was only classified as a POW "in the context of defendant's concerns about the care he would receive while in custody," but that the court never intended to "shield him from all future prosecutions for serious crimes he is alleged to have committed."