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December 25, 1987

A Panamanian court sentenced former army Col. Roberto Diaz Herrera to five years in prison after his conviction on charges stemming from his tough criticism last summer of the country's military leader, Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega. Diaz Herrera was Noriega's second-in-command until forced to retire last June, and he prompted widespread civil unrest soon afterward by accusing Noriega of election fraud, corruption and involvement in political assassinations. Diaz Herrera was convicted of crimes against internal state security, the equivalent of treason in Panama. Seven of his aides were sentenced to the same term.

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