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Fate of Manuel Noriega goes to U.S. appeals court Wednesday

The fate of a jailed Panamanian general whose country was invaded by the United States almost two decades ago will be argued in a federal appeals court in downtown Miami on Wednesday.

Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, a convicted narcotrafficker incarcerated in a prison outside Miami, hopes to return to his native country rather than face extradition to France on money-laundering charges.

Noriega, 73, asserts his status as a prisoner of war entitles him to be repatriated to Panama under the Geneva Conventions. But three federal judges — including the one who granted him POW status after his original trial in Miami — have ruled the United States can extradite him to France.

A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit of Appeals, after hearing arguments on Wednesday, will later decide whether Noriega's POW status prohibits his extradition to France under the international treaty.

Read the full story at MiamiHerald.com

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