Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Noriega Extradition Upheld

This is not the typical topic for this blog, but interesting. Today, the Eleventh Circuit upheld the extradition of former Panamanian dictator General Manuel Noriega to France to face money laundering charges. The opinion can be found here and a Miami Herald article on the opinion here.

Appellant General Manuel Antonio Noriega appeals the decision of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida denying his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The district court determined that the Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Aug. 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3316, 75 U.N.T.S. 135 (“Third Geneva Convention” or Convention”), does not foreclose the extradition of prisoners of war and that the United States had sufficiently complied with its obligations under the Convention. We affirm and hold that § 5 of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (“MCA”), Pub. L. No. 109-366, § 5(a), 120 Stat. 2600, 2631, note following 28 U.S.C. § 2241 (2006), precludes Noriega from invoking the Geneva Convention as a source of rights in a habeas proceeding and therefore deny Noriega’s habeas petition. We also conclude that extradition would not violate the Convention.


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