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Source: Clinton OKs Noriega extradition

WASHINGTON – A U.S. official says Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has signed off on the extradition of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega to France.

The official said Clinton signed a so-called surrender warrant for Noriega on Monday after a federal judge in Miami lifted a stay blocking the extradition last week.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Noriega faces money laundering charges in France.

Noriega was ousted as Panama’s leader and put on trial following a 1989 U.S. invasion that drove him from power. He was convicted of drug racketeering and related charges in 1992. His sentence ended in 2007, but Noriega has remained in prison.