Friday, September 6, 2013

MANUEL NORIEGA TRIAL 22 YEARS AGO Sept 6th 1991

In the mid-80's Panamanian General Manuel Noriega cooperated with the DEA and the covert American drug enforcement operation, called Operation Negocios. It was carried out for several years and relied in part on information supplied by the Panama Defense Forces, which General Noriega then commanded. 

After the Iran-Contra Affair,( the Iran Contra trial is highlighted in the upcoming book, www.illustratedcourtroom.com) the US became increasingly suspicious of Noriega amid indications that he was selling his services to other intelligence bodies, not to mention drug-trafficking organizations.

In 1988, the US indicted Noriega on charges of drug trafficking. The United States invaded Panama it ended with Noriega surrendering to U. S. forces on January 3, 1990.  Below is an illustration of Noriega by Aggie Kenny soon after his capture in Miami Federal Court. Kenny noticed Noriega smiling during the post arrest hearing, something that was out of the ordinary.Kenny said " It was a key detail, almost a smirk. Quite surprising to see that in court, usually defendants are so sober". 


Manuel Noriega in court after arrest in Miami Federal Court in January 1990

His trial began 22 years ago in Miami Federal Court on September 6th,1991 and jury selection took a week. The trial ran until April 10th, 1992;  Noriega was convicted on 8 of 10 charges. Below is a portrait of Noriega by Kenny. 

Manuel Noriega by Aggie Kenny

This was a landmark trial which marked the first time that a former head of a foreign government had ever faced criminal charges in an American court of law. However just this year, the former president of Guatemala, Alphonso Portillo was indicted and brought to the US to face money laundering charges.
Indictment PDF

REFERENCE LINKS

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