The Paris Court of Appeals decided today that the lawsuit filed by Panama, which seeks compensation for laundering of drug money attributed to former Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, will be addressed during the trial against him, to be held starting next Monday.
The court split the Panamanian demand against Noriega's wife, Felicidad, who has not yet appeared before the French courts, and who will be the subject of another hearing scheduled for 24 January 2011.
Panama's ambassador in France, Henry Faarup, told the press today that during the hearing next week against Noriega before the Correctional Tribunal of Paris, Panama would claim "all or part" of the money confiscated by French Customs from the former Panamanian strongman when he was convicted in absence in France in July 1999 to ten years in prison.
In that ruling, the State of Panama only received only nominal damages of one franc, because the judges felt that the money laundered by Noriega and his wife in France did not come from Panamanian state coffers, but rather from drug trafficking.
The lawyer representing the government of Panama before the Appeals Court, Benot Lavagne, said during the hearing next week Panama would ask for a specific sum that he would not disclose today, and he only said it was justified due to moral and material damages.
Faarup stated, in any event, because theirs is a private accusation, their demand is limited to asking for compensation, and not to enter into the question of a criminal conviction against Noriega.
In 1999, the Justice French also sentenced the former dictator ten years in prison for laundering some $3.1 million dollars. Noriega, 76, was extradited to France on April 27 from the United States, where he served 20 years in prison. (La Prensa)
Monday, June 21 2010
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.