Plane carrying Noriega takes off from Madrid airport

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Extradited former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega left Madrid on Sunday on the final leg of his return home from France, airport operator AENA said.

The flight left Barajas at 1:57 pm (1257 GMT), according to the AENA website, more than an hour behind schedule.

Noriega, 77, had arrived in Madrid from Paris earlier Sunday en route to Panama where he faces more prison time two decades after being ousted in a bloody US invasion.

He spent his stopover at Madrid airport in the custody of Spanish police, Spanish news agency EFE reported, citing airport sources.

After serving more than 20 years in prisons in the United States and France for drug trafficking and money laundering, Noriega will face three separate sentences of 20 years in Panama for crimes committed under his dictatorship, including the murder of critics.

© 2011 AFP

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