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Wife of Rebel Officer Says He and Others Killed by Military

November 5, 1989

PANAMA CITY, Panama (AP) _ Rebel officers who tried to oust Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega last month and surrendered after they failed were killed, according to the wife of one of the leaders of the attempted coup.

The accusation was made in a clandestine television broadcast by Adela de Giroldi, the wife of Maj. Moises Giroldi.

The broadcast was transmitted for 25 minutes on channel 12, a channel unused by any of the five television stations in Panama.

Sunday morning various radio broadcasts were interrupted by clandestine signals telling listeners to watch channel 12.

Mrs. Giroldi fled to Miami as did some relatives of other rebels.

″I feel proud of my husband and that he died with honor,″ Mrs. Giroldi said.

″They lined up my husband and the others to kill them in cold blood because they surrendered, and without any thought they were murdered. To those they don’t like, death. To those they like, death. And to those they don’t understand, death.″

″Gen. Noriega is capable of any madness, of anything,″ she said.

Twenty-seven officers were arrested after the Oct. 3 revolt against Noriega, who controls the government as the head of Panama’s Defense Forces. Eight rebel soldiers were killed when Noriega loyalists crushed the attempted coup.

The government has denied earlier reports that some of the rebels officers were executed after surrendering.

Mrs. Giroldi said of Noriega, ″He is not in a condition to run the country or the Defense Forces. There are still good and honest officers who could command the Defense Forces well.″

She said Noriega is ″not fighting for nationalism, he’s fighting for his own territory, his survival.″

Noriega has shuffled leadership posts in the Defense Forces. Some officers close to him were involved in the uprising. Noriega has accused the United States of trying to infiltrate the military, encouraging young officers to overthrow the general.

Washington has been putting pressure on Noriega to resign since he was indicted on drug charges last year by two grand juries in Florida. Noriega has said the accusations are false and were made by the United States as an excuse to abrogate the Panama Canal Treaties. The treaties turn control of the waterway over to Panama before the end of the century.

There was no indication where the signal on channel 12 came from or who was responsibile. The government did not comment on the broadcast.

Kurt Frederick Muse, a 39-year-old U.S. citizen, was arrested in April and accused of making clandestine broadcasts. Panama accused the U.S. government of giving Muse the equipment necessary for the operation.

It was not known if Muse is still in custody.

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