Spanish version

JUDICIAL AFFAIRS

Victims say Noriega has not shown remorse

The former dictator is seeking house arrest.

Spanish version

Temas:

Relatives of the soldiers shot in the so-called Albrook massacre, which occurred on Oct. 3, 1989, have not forgotten what happened that day and their wounds have not closed.

Gisela Muñoz, the widow of Lt. Jorge Bonilla Arboleda, killed after the failed coup attempt against Manuel Antonio Noriega, traveled to Panama from Colorado to deliver a letter to the Second Superior Court in which she asked the judges to reject the request for house arrest requested by lawyers for the former dictator.

Lawyer Ezra Angel filed the request May 18, citing health complications. Noriega has been detained in El Renacer Prison since being extradited from France in December 2011.

Twenty-two years before his arrival in the country, on Oct. 3, 1989, a group of soldiers led by Major Moisés Giroldi took control of the central headquarters of the defence forces in El Chorrillo and detained Noriega.

But the coup leaders were neutralized and eight of them were shot in the hangars located at Albrook Field. They were captains León Tejada, Juan Arza, Edgardo Sandoval and Eric Murillo; Lt. Jorge Bonilla; second lieutenants Ismael Ortega and Francisco Concepción; and Sgt. Feliciano Muñoz.

Sgt. Deóclides Julio was killed in the headquarters while Giroldi was executed the next day in the former Tinajitas headquarters. Captain Nicasio Lawrence died on Oct. 6 in prison after being tortured.

Noriega was sentenced to 20 years in prison for the murder of Giroldi; and later for 15 years for conspiracy and deprivation of freedom in connection with the massacre at Albrook Field.

Relatives met privately yesterday with judges Adolfo Mejía and María de Lourdes Estrada and presented them with a petition asked that Noriega's request be  rejected.

Leaving the meeting, Gisela Muñoz declared: "It is very comfortable now to say that he is ill, but the injunction that they are requesting is so he can enjoy his grandchildren."

"My daughter, who now has two children, lost her father at the age of 11 years, and it is not very easy to turn the page," she added.

Maritza Giroldi made it clear to the judges that she and the Giroldi family "are against (giving house arrest) to the murderer Noriega."

"This gentleman has never shown repentance nor has apologized to the family," she added.

She added that she is not opposed to Noriega receiving medical care, but wants him to complete his sentence in prison.

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