8 Jul 2010

Noriega sentenced for money laundering

4:06 pm on 8 July 2010

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega has been sentenced to seven years' jail for laundering millions of dollars into French bank accounts and properties in the 1980s.

The 76-year-old former general was convicted in absentia in 1999 of laundering money from Colombian drug cartels.

He was extradited to France in April from the United States, where he was in prison for drug trafficking and money laundering.

When he took the stand in the Paris court last week, Noriega denied taking payments from Colombian drug lords in the 1980s and said he was the victim of a set-up by his former ally, the US.

Manuel Noriega led a military government in Panama in the 1980s until being ousted by US forces in 1989.