Prisons official: former military strongman Noriega sent to hospital for routine exams

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Panama authorities say imprisoned former dictator Manuel Noriega has been taken to a Panama City hospital for tests.

A prisons official did not offer The Associated Press details on what tests the 80-year-old former military strongman was undergoing Tuesday. The official was not authorized to speak on the record.

Noriega has been hospitalized several times — for hypertension, flu and bronchitis — since being repatriated from France in December 2011.

Toppled in a 1989 U.S. invasion, Noriega served a 17-year drug trafficking sentence in the United States. France later convicted him of money laundering.

In Panama, Noriega is serving a 60-year sentence for murder, embezzlement and corruption. His family says he should be released. Doctors hired by relatives say he has a benign brain tumor and heart trouble.