The court will also seize about $2.9 million of money that has been frozen until now in Noriega's French bank account.
After the verdict, Noriega, who was incarcerated in Florida for 17 years in cells so comfortable that one was called the "presidential suite," was returned to La Sante prison in the south of Paris, where his fellow inmates include Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the Venezuelan terrorist better known as Carlos the Jackal.
Though Noriega, 76, painted himself as an enemy of drug traffickers and a victim of a double-dealing U.S. government during his trial, he was found guilty of funneling millions of dollars from Colombian drug cartels into French banks and luxury apartments in Paris.
"He was completely demoralized by the verdict," Noriega's attorney, Yves Leberquier, told AOL News today in a telephone interview from Paris. "He does not feel he deserves this."
Lawyers for Noriega complained during the trial that La Sante prison was dirty and dilapidated and that conditions there were difficult for the ailing Noriega.
"He's an old man and a sick man," Leberquier said today. "He is living under terrible conditions in this prison."
Noriega was deposed as the head of Panama after a U.S. invasion in 1989. Though he was once on the CIA payroll and a onetime ally of former President Francois Mitterrand, who awarded him the French Legion d'honneur, Noriega was convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering in Miami in 1992.
Noriega remained in U.S. custody as France sought to extradite him to stand trial in Paris on charges first brought in absentia in 1999. Noriega was convicted in absentia but was re-tried on the same charges when he was extradited to France in April.
Leberquier pointed out today, as he did during the trial, that Noriega had prisoner of war status in the U.S., which is why his Miami prison cell was so livable. The lawyer said he should be accorded the same status in France. Noriega was also allowed to wear his general's uniform in the U.S. but was forced to go to French court in civilian clothes.
Leberquier said he did not have much time to talk to Noriega today after the verdict but plans to meet with him later this week to decide whether to file an appeal on his behalf. Leberquier said Noriega has high blood pressure and has paralysis on his left side from a stroke.
During his trial, prosecutors, who had sought a 10-year sentence, said Noriega received millions in kickbacks from the Medellin, Colombia, drug cartels, which he laundered through Parisian bank accounts and the purchase of some luxury properties.
His lawyers said Noriega was framed, in part by the U.S.
Another lawyer for Noriega, Olivier Metzner, told The Associated Press that today's verdict had a lot to do with settling "political scores."
"It's a decision that has a political connotation, which is doubtless going to please American authorities," Metzner said.