Panama's Noriega tried in France over 'drug money'





Former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega has gone on trial in Paris for money-laundering in a case which could put him in jail for another 10 years.

Now believed to be 76, the man who ruled Panama from 1981 to 1989 was extradited from the US in April after two decades in prison for drug-trafficking.

A French court sentenced him in his absence to 10 years in 1999.

France agreed to give him a new trial if he was extradited from the US.

The trial is due to last three days. However, the verdict is not expected to be announced for several months, AFP news agency reports.

Birth discrepancy
The former strongman is now frail and decrepit, so much so that he even stumbled recalling his date of birth, the BBC's Christian Fraser reports from Paris.

When asked about the discrepancies, first he said 1936, then corrected himself to state he had been born in 1934....



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