French Justice Ministry says former dictator Manuel Noriega won't have POW status in France
PARIS – PARIS (AP) — The French Justice Ministry says former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega won't have prisoner-of-war status in France but will be allowed visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Noriega, who was extradited from the U.S. earlier this week to face charges of laundering drug money, was granted POW status by a judge in Miami, where he had been jailed since the U.S. invaded Panama to remove him in 1989.
French Justice Ministry spokesman Guillaume Didier says France notified the United States before the extradition it wouldn't treat Noriega as a POW.
Didier said Wednesday that Noriega was charged in France with ordinary crimes and would be treated as a civilian detainee. The former strongman awaits trial in a Paris prison.