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This research paper discusses and analyzes the international

legal aspects of the abduction and trial of Manuel Noriega. In

1990 Noriega, the former Panamanian military strongman, was

kidnapped by the American military and returned to Miami where

he was tried and convicted on criminal charges. The Noriega and

other recent cases raise basic questions of international law

relating to the right of one state to apply extraterritorially

its criminal laws to the citizens of another state. Novel issues

arose because of the circumstances under which Noriega was

captured his status as a foreign head of state. A solid case can

be made that in all these instances, general principles of

international law were violated. The defendants in these cases

appear to have been guilty of the offenses charged. They were

otherwise unappealing figures. Their fates, nevertheless,

demonstrate the current lack of consensus in the international

community and in particular in the United States as to how such

principles should be applied in difficult cases.

On January 3, 1990, two weeks after the American invasion of

Panama in late 1989, Manuel Noriega emerged from the papal

nunciature in Panama City where he had sought refuge and

surrendered to United States Army forces. That same night, he

was placed under arrest in Panama by agents of the Drug

Enforcement Administration. He was then flown to Florida where a

few days later he was arraigned in a Federal District Court on

twelve federal felony criminal counts under an indictment that

had been filed against him in absentia in 1988.1 After a trial

before a jury which lasted seven months, Noriega was found guilty

in April, 1992 on eight counts of racketeering, conspiracy and

cocaine smuggling. In July, 1992, he was sentenced to forty years

in federal prison, which the trial judge later allowed him to...

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ABDUCTION AND TRIAL OF MANUEL NORIEGA Thi. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:40, September 29, 2020, from