Put Noriega in perspective

MORNING Live reported on April 27 that former Panamanian head of state Antonio Manuel Noriega, pictured, who had been in a US prison since 1989 after the US, under the leadership of George W Bush Snr invaded Panama leaving in its wake death and destruction, and arrested him, will be extradited to France to face drug trafficking charges.

MORNING Live reported on April 27 that former Panamanian head of state Antonio Manuel Noriega, pictured, who had been in a US prison since 1989 after the US, under the leadership of George W Bush Snr invaded Panama leaving in its wake death and destruction, and arrested him, will be extradited to France to face drug trafficking charges.

Morning Live should provide viewers with details about Noriega's circumstances instead of giving them the lopsided view of Western wire services.

The Western countries are playing ping pong with a powerless 76-year-old man. First of all, according to international law, Noriega's arrest was illegal because the invasion of his country that led to his arrest was in itself illegal.

Moreover, he was arrested at the Vatican Nuncio in Panama City and taken to the US where he was tried under US laws.

US courts had no jurisdiction over a person who was abducted from his country. Which country's laws did he violate?

The US or Panama?

Noriega was accused of drug trafficking but had previously been on the payroll of the CIA, which is also known to engage in drug trafficking.

It was only after relations soured with the US that Noriega was accused of drug trafficking. Relations deteriorated after the expiry of the Panama Canal Treaty, which Noriega refused to renew.

That is the crux of the matter. Had he been involved in drug trafficking the US authorities looked the other way as long as he was still in the payroll of the CIA.

Morning Live should sensitise its viewers to Noriega's plight.

Sam Ditshego, Kagiso

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