Ex-Panama leader Noriega still critical after brain surgery

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 08, 2017 8:10 PM

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega remained in an induced coma in critical condition following two brain surgeries on Tuesday to remove a benign tumor, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

"His condition is still critical," Ezra Angel said in a phone interview, adding that internal bleeding following the second surgery had been stopped.

Noriega, 83, ruled Panama from 1983 to 1989, spying for the Central Intelligence Agency before the United States invaded in 1989, toppling his repressive government and ending a drug-trafficking career that associated him with Colombian kingpin Pablo Escobar.

Noriega was initially sentenced in the United States in 1992 and is currently serving a sentence for murder in Panama.

Judicial authorities granted Noriega a period of home arrest until April 28 to undergo the brain surgery after which they will decide whether he can return to prison.

(Reporting by Elida Moreno; Editing by Peter Cooney)