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Manuel Antonio Noriega - Former Dictator

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Manuel Noriega Granted House Arrest
Irma Rodríguez Reyes | 23 ene 2017 02.16pm


The former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega could exit the El Renacer Penitentiary Center after receiving the benefit of arrest or house arrest.

This measure has been confirmed by his lawyer, Ezra Angel who explained this afternoon at rangefinder which has been granted house arrest to Noriega, for the preparation of a surgery to remove a brain tumor.

According to the lawyer, the output of the Noriega has not yet been clarified, nor is there an exact date for the operation. In a preliminary way is only known to be operated in the month of February.

In 2016, and following a review of the Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences recommended domicialiario arrest of former "strong man" of Panama to this in pre- and post-operative care.

Ezra added that, although the measure has been granted by the case of the disappearance of Heliodoro Portugal, Noriega can access the new precautionary measure despite the other causes.

Manuel Antonio Noriega (MAN) who will be 83 years old on 11 February, was extradited to Panama from France, the 11 of December of 2011 and since then has been imprisoned in the Rebirth. MAN ruled in dictatorship, between the years 1983 to 1989, when it was removed from power after the US invasion of Panama.


Edited by Moderator_02
edited title to make it a bit more general
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Chiriquí's court confirms Noriega will go under house arrest until April

The decision was adopted after a hearing on the evening of this Saturday
  • The decision was adopted after a hearing on the evening of this Saturday


A court in Chiriquí confirmed the decision of the Penal Instance of the Supreme Court and of another court in Panama City that Manuel Antonio Noriega be granted a measure of house arrest for temporary jail.

The decision was adopted after a hearing on the evening of this Saturday. 

There is not obstacles to grant the order inmmediatly and be released from El Renacer Jail  and go home to his daughter´s house in Coco del Mar neighborhood, until beginning of April.

The court based its decision for the "vulnerability" of the health of the Dictator, which came to Panama in December, 2011, and that must be operated now for a brain tumor.

In the hearing, the defense of Noriega, Ezra Ángel, raised that the imprisoned exgeneral could favor him with a permanent measure. 

The top district attorney of Chiriquí, Idalmis Olmos, assured that on April 28 they will check the measure.

"The condition of Noriega was demonstrated by certifications. Panama is signatory of international agreements that must be applied, and under this premise we took the decision", affirmed. 

Noriega purge approximately 67 years of prison for different condemnations, for the death of Hugo Spadafora, Moises Giroldi and the fallen for "Albrook's Massacre ".


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Daughter swears to report Noriega house arrest violations

Posted on January 28, 2017 in Panama

Sandra Noriega
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SANDRA NORIEGA Sieiro, daughter  of Panama’s former dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, testified under under oath that she would report any violations by her father if he is granted house arrest.

She testified before Third Judicial District Judge Katerini Pitti de Molina at a hearing in Chiriquí that is required for Noriega to be granted house arrest prior to surgery next

month. The surgery is scheduled for February 15.

Noriega must obtain the authorization of the judge

because he is serving a 20­years sentence for the murder of Dr. Hugo Spadafora in September1985.

Sandra Noriega said her father would reside in the home she shares with her two children in San Francisco.

Prosecutor Idalis Olmos did not oppose the request for house arrest, but asked that it be provisional.

Neither Noriega nor the Spadafora family were present at the hearing, but on Friday Noriega faced for the first time, relatives  of  Colonel Moisés Giroldi and those  who died in the episode known as the Albrook massacre, both of which occurred on October 3, 1989.

In court, Noriega, denied involvement in the killings and said they were done by comrades of the victims

A ruling by the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court granted Noriega’s request for house arrest, but the order had to also be approved by the court’s that originally sentenced Noriega.

Noriega has been detained in El Renacer Prison since December 2011, when he was extradited from France, which in turn requested his extradition from the United States, where he had been jailed since the US invasion of Panama in 1989.


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Noriega moves to house arrest

Posted on January 29, 2017 in Panama

Noriega on the move
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EX-PANAMA DICTATOR Manuel Antonio Noriega,was transferred from  the El Renacer prison to the  San Francisco home of his daughter Sandra on Saturday, January 28.

The move followed the decision of  Chiriqui High Court  Judge Jaqueline Pittí de Molina  to grant him house arrest  for three months while preparing for, and recovering from brain surgery.

The decision came after a High Court Complaint hearing that began in Chiriqui.

Noriega’s attorney Ezra Angel, requested permanent house arrest, but after a 45 minute recess, the three months change of domicile was announced.

A review hearing will be April 28 at 10:00 am to determine the health condition of the ex-dictator and  to decide  whether to continue house arrest  or return him to the penitentiary


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Not going to translate this article but in part it says that former General Noriega faced the families of some of his victims in court on Friday and declared his innocence in a strong voice.

Noriega is an 83 year old man in a wheelchair who needs brain surgery.


Noriega  cara a cara con víctimas.png


Edited by Keith Woolford
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Former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega begs countrymen for forgiveness after 25 years' silence

Manuel Noriega, 81, breaks his silence with a statement delivered on television from outside Panama City on Wednesday night


By James Badcock, Madrid

4:35PM BST 25 Jun 2015


Former dictator Manuel Noriega makes his apologies during the exclusive TV interview

Former dictator Manuel Noriega makes his apologies during the exclusive TV interview Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

By James Badcock, Madrid

The jailed former dictator of Panama has begged his countrymen for forgiveness in his first formal statement since he was ousted from power 25 years ago.

Manuel Noriega, 81, who was removed from power by a US military invasion force in January 1990, broke his silence with a statement delivered on television from Panama City's El Renacer prison on Wednesday night.

“I ask for forgiveness from any person who feels they were offended, affected, damaged or humiliated by my actions or those of my superiors in the carrying out of orders,” said Noriega.

“I close the cycle of the military era as the last general of that group, asking forgiveness as commander-in-chief, as head of the government."

Speaking on Panama’s Telemetro channel, Noriega explained that he had taken the decision to break his silence after consultation with family, the Church and his own conscience.


Noriega during his dictatorship

In apparently good health and speaking slowly but clearly, Noriega said the statement was intended to draw a line under the regime led by various military officers which ruled the country for two decades prior to his downfall.

But the former dictator, who is serving a 60-year sentence for politically motivated murders during his time in power, refused to give direct answers to any of the questions put to him by the television interviewer.

He would not disclose the nature of the conversations he claimed to have had with the Church, and nor did he respond as to whether he had any information to offer the Catholic authorities on the 1970 disappearance of the priest Héctor Gallego.


Noriga posing for his prison mugshot in 2011 (AFP)

“I have come here today to express the idea of pardon before the alter of my conscience,” the former military ruler said as he explained that he could not give details on any specific events without undermining the “solemnity” of his message.

Noriega did not appeal for any change in his situation, despite his family having requested in 2012 that he be kept under house arrest after a series of strokes.

He said he was “a friend of God” and that his own strength was “divine strength”. Asked if he felt at peace, he said “totally”.

After giving himself up to the US military in 1990, Noriega was convicted by a court in Miami on charges of drug-trafficking, organised crime and money laundering.

When he was due for release after serving 17 years of a 30-year sentence in 2007, a US judge agreed to extradite the Panamanian to France, where he had already been convicted in absentia of money laundering.

After finally being extradited to France in 2010, Noriega was finally flown to Panama to face charges in his home country.

Relatives of dictatorship victims were unimpressed by Noriega’s limited apology.

“It did not feel sincere,” Karina Ortega, the daughter of a military officer killed along with 10 others after a frustrated rebellion against Noriega’s rule in October 1989, told the Associated Press on Thursday.

Kilmara Mendizabal, whose sister disappeared near the beginning of the military dictatorship, said the statement was important in that it “demonstrates the veracity of those events,” but she added: “Noriega should say where the remains are of each missing person from the dictatorship. He must know the whereabouts of father Héctor Gallego and others.”


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“Killers treated better than thieves” – Noriega victims

Posted on February 2, 2017 in Panama

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A COMMITTEE of victims of the military dictatorship has demanded that Panama’s former military  dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega ­ who is living under house arrest ­ provide more details about the deaths that took place under his watch.

Maritza Maestre, coordinator of the committee, reiterated the  group’s rejection  of the decision to move  him from prison to house arrest.

Maestre said that Noriega’s lawyers have

claimed he has health problems but noted he answered questions “with arrogance” at a recent hearing.”

“He still says he did not kill anyone,” Maestre said at a press conference Thursday, Feb 2.

She said that in the country there are a large number of sick prisoners who need to go to their homes, but they are not treated the same as Noriega. reports La Prensa

“People who steal are treated worse than those who kill,” she said.

After being jailed for 27 years, the 82­year­old former dictator, convicted of the murder of Hugo Spadafora and the Albrook massacre, among other crimes, was transferred on Jan. 28 to the residence of one of his daughters.

There is currently a complaint pending before the Inter  ­American Commission on Human Rights to offer reparations to the victims. There is an October  deadline for compliance.


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There may be some who think that former Panamanian Defense Forces leader and defacto President General Manuel Noriega is old news but the recent controversy surrounding his application to be allowed house arrest has the population buzzing.

Social division of Noriega’s legacy has not healed in Panama

Elaine Nava Fri, 02/03/2017 - 11:55

PANAMA CITY.- The alternative measure for Manuel Antonio Noriega revived the effects of the dictatorship. The memories of the relatives of the victims were present at the last hearing in which the soldier broke his silence. Leaving the jail for a surgical intervention caused mixed reactions among Panamanians.

Relatives of those killed during the dictatorship of Noriega recalled their tragedies, different but tragedy at last, in the presence of who is considered a murderer: Manuel Antonio Noriega. Pronouncing his name in Panama provokes different reactions, some of resignation, others of nonconformity, and some few of forgiveness.

It was a troubling audience. The last meeting between the relatives and the former military man left statements that highlight this phantom of the dictatorship that still persecutes Panamanians.

Only 4 hours before starting his house arrest, Noriega insisted: 'I had nothing to do with the death of Giroldi and Tejada.

Even Noriega added: Those who killed them were friends of former captain Leon Tejada.

He claimed that it had nothing to do with the so-called Albrook massacre and the murder of Moisés Giroldi, the leader of that coup against Noriega, in 1989.

The reports of the media such as La Estrella and El Siglo state that when the children of the victims were declaring, Leon Tejada showed his discomfort: I represent one of the children of the eleven brutally killed in the massacre provoked by this man who we should not call former general because he was degraded for his multiple crimes. May God forgive him,' he concluded.

While Josué Giroldi, for example, was more conciliatory in assuring that they do not hold a grudge and that they 'Understood the pain that this process has caused to both families'.

But when Noriega is waiting for his surgical intervention, an argument to move him from the prison El Renacer to the house of one of his daughters, in the networks reactions were showed due to the conditional release of the former general.

Some retorted the decision on Twitter:


Others insist that the temporary transfer of the dictator is a smokescreen to divert attention from the recent corruption cases in Panama as well as complaints of irregularities in the contracting processes with Odebrecht.


Others are indifferent to and express resignation for the transfer.



Other reactions

 The family of Panamanian physician and opposition politician Hugo Spadafora, beheaded in 1985 during the military government in Panama, which he was critical of, questioned the measure, even before the execution they asked for a reconsideration of the decision. "If Noriega is granted all these privileges, it must be done exactly the same with all prisoners of his age (over 80 years) and that have even worse diseases," said Rita Spadafora, sister of Hugo Spadafora.

"What we demand is that there are no privileges for this man who, moreover, damaged the country so much and committed such cruel crimes," she said before Noriega was transferred.

Alexis Sánchez, a former investigator of the truth commission, recently published an opinion article in the newspaper La Estrella in which he sent a message to the former general and expresses his concern about Noriega's statements in which he asserted that those who murdered Giroldi and Tejada would have been their friends and not him.

"Today Noriega's statements start another debate: if Noriega knew that the friends of Giroldi and Tejada murdered them, he becomes an accomplice and concealer of these crimes, since it was his duty from the beginning bring them to Justice ... After 28 years, Panamanians have been benevolent. The time has come to help put an end to this dark era of Panama," said the text.

While some believe that the former military was granted the benefit for humanitarian reasons and as an expression of forgiveness, others insist that there is talk of the person responsible for crimes against humanity that do not prescribe and that there may be a pardon, but not impunity.

The truth is that after completing the three-month period, Noriega will be subjected to a new judicial evaluation that will determine on the basis of the medical reports whether he must return to prison or continue with the recovery outside the prison El Renacer, located on the banks of the Panama Canal.

This is the first time in 26 years that Noriega has benefited from a house arrest measure since he was overthrown and captured by US troops after the 1989 invasion of Panama that left thousands of victims.

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4 minutes ago, Keith Woolford said:

There may be some who think that former Panamanian Defense Forces leader and defacto President General Manuel Noriega is old news but the recent controversy surrounding his application to be allowed house arrest has the population buzzing.

Noriega IS old news.  Panama has an immense task before it to clean up the government corruption and protect its citizens.  Any interest in a has-been dictator is purely personal feelings of those directly involved.  It sells newspapers and everyone knows someone directly affected but the real interest should be in making the government that replaced the dictator serve all of its people.

Certainly, the interest in Noriega to expats can not be front page news.  I doubt that Noriega is running a gang from his cell.

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How is it that a mass murderer and drug dealer even has enough money for this surgery?  Did Panama not seize his assets when he was convicted?  Now I realize that there are ways to hide ownership but it just does not seem fair to me that the Panamanian's who are suffering similar illnesses and have no money to pay for treatments should be ignored over this criminal.  He should just be left in jail until his final days with only minimal medical care just like all the other Panamanians serving life sentences.  He is less than worthy of special consideration.

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I have no sympathy for this man...zero.  That said, the terrorist who blew up over 200 people  on the aircraft that exploded over Lockerbee was allowed to leave prison, return to his native country,and enjoy several years dying of  cancer. I have zero sympathy for him as well...

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