Noriega prison release set for Sept. 9.
Former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega hopes to board a plane for
Panama when he is released from prison on Sept. 9, and plans to fight
his conviction in the slayings of two political opponents, said his
attorney Frank Rubino, reports AP (Jan. 24, 2007). Noriega's
eight-year rule ended after the US invaded the county on Dec. 20, 1989,
to force him from power. He is being held in the Federal Correctional
Institution in Miami on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
Noriega was sentenced to a 30-year term for protecting Colombian cocaine
shipments through Panama in the 1980s but received deductions in his
punishment for good behavior. Noriega, 70, had unsuccessful parole
hearings in 2002 and 2004 to try to cut short his 30-year sentence.
Panama's justice minister, Olga Golcher, said Noriega would be
taken to prison as soon as he arrived. Noriega has received two 20-year
sentences in Panama for the 1985 decapitation of dissident leader Hugo
Spadafora and the 1989 slaying of Maj. Moises Giroldi, who tried to