Ex-Panama dictator Noriega goes on trial in France

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Panama's ex-dictator Manuel Noriega went on trial in France on Monday on charges of laundering Colombian drug money in French banks.

Dressed in a dark suit, his hair slicked back, the 76-year former military leader calmly gave his name as he stood before three judges of a Paris criminal court.

The pock-marked general known as "Pineapple Face" is being re-tried on charges of laundering the equivalent of 2.3 million euros in the late 1980s from the Medellin cocaine cartel through the now defunct BCCI bank.

A French court in 1999 had sentenced Noriega in absentia to 10 years in prison while he was serving a jail term in the United States for drug trafficking and racketeering.

© 2010 AFP

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