Judge extends house arrest for Panama ex-dictator Noriega

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This Dec. 11, 2011 file photoshows Panama's former strongman Manuel Noriega transported in a wheelchair, pushed by a police officer inside El Renacer prison, on the outskirts of Panama City.

This Dec. 11, 2011 file photoshows Panama's former strongman Manuel Noriega transported in a wheelchair, pushed by a police officer inside El Renacer prison, on the outskirts of Panama City. (Photo: AP Photo/Esteban Felix, File)

PANAMA CITY (AP) — A judge on Tuesday extended the house arrest conditions for former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega to one year following his surgery to remove a benign brain tumor.

However, Judge Katherine Pitti, who made the ruling in a western province, denied a request to allow the 83-year-old Noriega to finish his sentence under house arrest.

Noriega suffered hemorrhaging following the first of two surgeries in early March. His family has stopped giving updates on his condition.

The same judge allowed Noriega to be transferred to house arrest in late January in order to prepare for surgery.

Noriega is a former general who ruled Panama from 1983 until he was ousted by a U.S. invasion in 1989. He is serving prison time for corruption and killing political opponents.

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