News has surfaced that Manuel Noriega, the former Panamanian dictator, who was captured by the U.S. during the invasion of Panama, was released from prison on Saturday. For the next three months Noriega will be free to enter a hospital for surgery. According to his lawyer, who released a statement on Saturday, the former dictator has a brain tumor doctors are going to attempt to remove.
Noriega ruled Panama from 1983 to 1989, until the U.S. took him as a prisoner of war for a number of crimes, including drug trafficking. He left his prison home guarded heavily by police to start his treatment for the surgery to remove the brain tumor, scheduled for February 15, according to Reuters. Currently, he is at one of his daughters apartments in a wealthy part of Panama City.
Ezra Angel, his defense lawyer, stated that the 82-year-old was granted house arrest for a short period of time by judicial authorities. The house arrest is only for the surgery, and ends on April 28. Following the surgery, once the return to jail date approaches, authorities will determine if Manuel Noriega should return to jail immediately or continue his recovery outside of the jail. according to judge Katerin Pitti. had granted 82-year-old Noriega a period of home arrest until April 28 to go through with the operation.
Afterwards, authorities, along with doctors, will determine if he is health enough and should return to prison or continue his recover outside, judge Pitti said. Manuel Noriega is serving time for murder and was first sentenced in the United States in 1992, three years after being captured during the Panama invasion.
By Cletus Dillwood