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Noriega Accorded POW Status


January 1993

Convicted drug trafficker and former Panamanian leader Manuel Antonio Noriega, who was kidnapped by U.S. forces during the U.S. invasion of Panama in December 1989, must be accorded full protection as a prisoner of war (POW) under the Geneva Convention, according to U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler (From News Services, "Judge Rules Noriega a POW Subject to Wide Protections," Washington Post, 12/9/92, A17).

The ruling arose in connection with where Noreiga will be housed during a prison term likely to last the rest of his life. In July 1992, the former Panamanian dictator was sentenced to 40 years in jail for drug trafficking and racketeering.