Former dictator General Noriega claims 'prisoner of war' status

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Noriega, Panama's former dictator, appeared at Paris's Palais de Justice a day after being extradited to France straight from an American prison, where he had served a 17-year sentence for helping Colombian drug barons smuggle cocaine to the US.

A French court in 1999 sentenced him to 10 years in prison after convicting him in absentia for laundering $7 million of drug money through French bank accounts and by buying luxury flats in Paris.

The 76-year-old now faces a retrial, but his lawyers will argue that he should be freed and returned to Panama. He was remanded in custody by a judge at his court appearance on Tuesday. He is expected to be tried within two months.

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