The long and tortured tale of former Panamian Manuel Antonio Noriega battles in teh courts of the United States of America continue. Noriega is currently fighting extradition to Panama.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeal of the order of extradition filed by Noriega and his lawyers. The next day, prosecutors went before Judge Paul Huck in Miami to present a petition requesting he revoke the suspension of extradition which has been in force while Noriega was pursuing his appeal.
Prosecutors emphasized that the extradition order has already been delayed two years, since he completed his jail sentence, and that during that time, Noriega “has taken full advantage of the legal mechanisms at his disposal.”
The prosecutors argued that as the Supreme Court rejected the appeal, it is time to proceed with extradition. Noriega’s lawyers, headed by noted Miami criminal defense lawyer Frank Rubino said that the position of the Supreme Court on the treatment of “enemy combatants” has evolved during the fight against terrorism, so it “is of national interest” that the Court reviews the Noriega case anew. According to Rubino and teh defense this analysis will be key for determining the rights of prisoners held jointly under American law and the Geneva Convention. The defense has until May 19 to respond to the Supreme Courts decision not to review the District Court’s order.
“The only one who has suffered is General Noriega, and he is very willing to stay where is until the Supreme Court decides his request for review,” the Rubino stated in Court.