Noriega sent to Panama hospital for routine exams

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PANAMA CITY, Panama -- Panama authorities say imprisoned former dictator Manuel Noriega has been taken to a Panama City hospital for tests.

A prisons official did not offer The Associated Press details on what tests the 80-year-old former military strongman was undergoing Tuesday.

Toppled in a 1989 U.S. invasion, Noriega served a 17-year drug trafficking sentence in the United States. France later convicted him of money laundering.

In Panama, Noriega is serving a 60-year sentence for murder, embezzlement and corruption.

His family says he should be released. Doctors hired by relatives say he has a benign brain tumor and heart trouble.

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