Noriega To Be Released in September
Here’s something I didn’t realize: Manuel Noriega will be released from prison in September, after serving a little more than half of his 30-year sentence:
Noriega has been in U.S. custody since surrendering 17 years ago during the U.S. invasion of Panama.
He is currently serving a 30-year sentence for drug trafficking and money laundering.
“He has now come to the point where he has served what is known as his mandatory release time, which means the government must release him from custody on September 9th this year,” said Frank Rubino, Noriega’s attorney.
Rubino says good behavior was one of the factors considered for the release. He says his client plans return to Panama once out of U.S. custody.
“He has only been to the United States three times in his whole life and has no desire to stay here,” he said. “Like anyone else, he wants to return to his home.”
Noriega’s legal troubles, however, will be far from over after his release. In 1995, A Panamanian court convicted him in absentia of murdering an Army major who tried to overthrow him and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Rubino says his client plans to defend himself in that case.
“When he returns to Panama, he will, through his lawyers, make a motion to reopen that trial so he can participate in it,” he said.
Noriega has been in prison for 17 years? Time flies…