Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega just won’t give up on his attempts to dodge an extradition order from the US to France.
He has now asked asked US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton to have him, extradited to Panama, where he faces more serious charges than in France. In France he faces money laundering charges, In Panama he faces two charges of murder.
Frank Rubino, one of Noriega's lawyers, said the request was made in a letter sent to Clinton on March 26.
"The Secretary of State now has the option of sending General Noriega to France or send him to Panama because both countries have applied (extradition). In our letter we ask that you choose to Panama for a variety of reasons," said Rubino.
Among these reasons, mentioned that the charges were the basis for the extradition request by Panama are "extremely serious: murder."
In Panama, Noriega was convicted in absentia for various crimes, including murder of Hugo Spadafora and leader Maj. Moises Giroldi, for which he was sentenced to 15 to 20 years in prison respectively.
"I do not consider the charges against him in France …, are the most gruesome of the world," said the lawyer.
France sought the extradition former Panamanian dictator in April 2004 after finding him guilty, also in absentia, of laundering about $ 3.1 million through banks in the country and through the purchase of apartments.