Heads of state in the dock for corruption

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Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega on Tuesday appeared before a French magistrate to face charges of laundering drug money after he was extradited from the United States.

Here are some examples of other heads of state who have previously gone on trial for corruption:

BANGLADESH: Hussein Mohammed Ershad (in power from 1982-1990) is driven from power and sentenced to 13 years in prison in 1991 for several cases of corruption.

SOUTH KOREA: General Roh Tae-Woo (1988-1993), who admitted to having received 650 million dollars (488 million euros) in bribes when he was in power, is condemned to 22 years in prison in 1996. He is pardoned in late 1997.

EQUADOR: Abdala Bucaram (1996-1997), accused of siphoning off public funds, is impeached by Congress on grounds of physical and mental incapacity six months after his investiture.

HAITI: The Haitian state demands that Jean-Claude Duvalier, or "Baby Doc", (1971-1986) reimburse several hundred million dollars.

INDONESIA: Mohamed Suharto (1967-1998), accused of having siphoned off tens of billions of dollars with his family, is forced to resign, but his trial is repeatedly broken off right up to his death on medical grounds.

MADAGASCAR: Didier Ratsiraka, while in exile in France, is sentenced in his absence in 2003 to 10 years of forced labour for diverting public funds and then to five years for breaching state security.

In August 2009 his sentences are annulled at a summit of national leaders.

MALI: Moussa Traore, overthrown in 1991 after 23 years in power, is sentenced to death twice for political crimes in 1993, and along with his wife for economic crimes in 1999.

The sentences are then commuted to life in prison and they are pardoned in 2002.

PERU: Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000) is sentenced in 2007 and 2009 to sentences of six and nine years in prison for corruption. Transparency International puts his illicit gains at 600 million dollars.

Fujimori is also sentenced to 25 years in prison for organising a secret army hit squad.

PHILIPPINES: Ferdinand Marcos (1972-1986) is accused of having siphoned off between five and 10 billion dollars. In October 1988 he is also charged in the United States with diverting several million dollars.

- Joseph Estrada (1998-2001) is sentenced to life in prison for corruption in September 2007, and is ordered to hand back some 87 million dollars of assets frozen in banks.

He is pardoned the following October by President Gloria Arroyo.

ZAMBIA: Former president Frederick Chiluba (1991-2001) is found guilty of defrauding nearly 50 million dollars in 2007 by a London court which orders that his British bank account be frozen.

In August 2009, in Zambia, he is cleared of charges that he embezzled 500,000 dollars in public funds during his tenure.

© 2010 AFP

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