A US judge has approved the extradition of former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega to face money laundering charges in France when his long Florida prison sentence for drug smuggling ends next month.
The decision by Magistrate William Turnoff followed a separate court ruling last Friday rejecting arguments from Noriega's lawyers that his status as a "prisoner of war" under the Geneva Conventions meant he had to be immediately returned home when his US sentence ends on September 9.
"This court will issue a certificate of extraditability with respect to General Manuel Antonio Noriega," Turnoff said at the end of a 30-minute hearing in Miami.
Turnoff said he would issue the extradition order tomorrow for the now 73-year-old Noriega, who was jailed in the United States almost two decades ago for drug smuggling and racketeering after he was captured by US forces following the 1989 invasion of Panama.
What else do have to do Manuel, sit around your cell reliving your glory days? Check out the city of lights, eat some smelly cheese, set fire to a car or two. Make the best of it.