FILM: “PANAMA DECEPTION”
The U.S. has extradited the former Panamanian president and CIA asset Manuel Noriega to France to face trial on money laundering charges. Noriega has been jailed in Miami since 1990 after his overthrow in the U.S. invasion of Panama that killed up to 3,000 people. Noriega’s drug trafficking sentence ended two years ago, but he’s remained in jail while fighting France’s extradition request. Noriega’s attorney, Frank Rubino, criticized the U.S. for failing to inform him of Noriega’s extradition.
Frank Rubino: “They have had no official recognition whatsoever. We’ve heard from the press and you folks tell us that he’s on a plane to France as we speak.”
Reporter: “Is that normal practice?”
Rubino: “No, the government usually has, does things in a professional manner and respects common courtesy and we’re shocked that they didn’t. I’m surprised that they didn’t put a black hood over his head and drag him out in the middle of the night.”
Noriega was previously a close U.S. ally and a paid CIA informant despite known ties to drug trafficking. The Reagan administration began turning against him in the mid-1980s after Noriega became less cooperative in the U.S. war on the Nicaraguan government and on U.S. plans to retain effective control over the Panama Canal.