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France to Extradite Former Panamanian Dictator Noriega

In this Nov. 8, 1989 file photo Panamanian military strongman Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega talks to reporters in Panama City.

A lawyer for former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega says France has agreed to extradite him to face charges in his home country.

The lawyer says French Prime Minister Francois Fillon signed the extradition order last month and Noriega was notified last week.

Panama and France have not confirmed the development. Panama requested Noriega's extradition for his role in the killing of the leader of an attempted military coup in 1989. He also faces charges of murdering political opponents.

Manuel Noriega is currently serving time in a French jail for laundering drug money.

Noriega served 20 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering before being extradited to France in 2010. He had been sentenced in absentia in 1999 to seven years in jail on charges of money laundering.

Noriega came to power in Panama in 1983 and maintained a firm grip on the Central American country until he was ousted by U.S. forces in 1989.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.