Manuel Noriega looted Panama's treasury, tortured and killed opponents and ran drug and money-laundering rackets, his country charges in a $6.5 billion lawsuit against the fallen dictator.

"For 10 years, the thievery and thuggery that General Noriega presided over damaged the people of Panama," said attorney Gregory Craig, who filed the lawsuit in federal court Wednesday on Panama's behalf.Noriega, who was driven from power by the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989, is in jail in Miami awaiting trial on charges of taking $4.6 million in bribes to protect drug trafficking. He could get up to 145 years in prison if convicted.

His lawyers accused Panama of filing the lawsuit in a conspiracy with the United States to disrupt Noriega's efforts to defend himself at the drug trial.