Panama dictator Noriega gets seven-year sentence
Wednesday, July 07 2010 @ 08:13 am EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Editor's Comment: This morning the reporter from TVN Channel 2 who is in Paris to cover the trial was speculating on the amount of time Noriega will actually end up spending in a French prison. She was saying that effectively Noriega has already been held for three additional years in the United States while the courts there decided whether or not to extradite him to France, and that it's possible the French Courts might consider that as "time served." Also, for the charges he faced, the French courts could have sentenced him from a minimum of six years to a maximum of ten - and that the French justice system can award as much as 50% reduction in sentence for good behavior. Therefore, she was speculating that if Noriega was sentenced to six years, if that was reduced 50%, and then if he was given three years credit for time served then he might be released relatively quickly. However - I think the reporter was most likely engaged in a game of wishful thinking after having spoken to Noriega's daughters and legal counsel. It seems to me that the French are not likely to grant the three years "credit" for time served, and that the clock will start running from the time he was extradited to Paris. Any reduction in sentence for good behavior will come later, once he's done at least three and a half years, if ever. They don't have to parole him, but I guess they can. And finally, if he manages to survive his sentence in a French prison there are multiple convictions for murder waiting for him here in Panama. When the French are done with him they will just put him on a plane in cuffs, bound for Panama.