Manuel Noriega, Panama ex-strongman, dies at 83

Noriega was in power in October 1989 but by January 1990 was in Miami facing drugs charges

General Manuel Antonio Noriega, the former military leader of Panama, has died aged 83, officials have announced.

Noriega recently underwent an operation after suffering a haemorrhage following brain surgery.

Noriega had been a key US ally but was forcibly removed when American troops invaded in 1989 and were later jailed in the US on drugs and laundering charges.

He spent the rest of his life in custody, latterly in Panama for murder, corruption and embezzlement. But the former leader was released into house arrest in January to prepare for the operation in early March to remove a brain tumour.

Noriega, from US ally to convict

He underwent further surgery after cerebral bleeding but died late on Monday local time in Panama City’s Santo Tomas hospital, Secretary of State for Communication Manuel Dominguez announced.

President Juan Carlos Varela tweeted: “The death of Manuel A Noriega closes a chapter in our history; his daughters and relatives deserve a funeral in peace.” BBC