Panama wants to try ousted dictator Gen. Manuel Noriega if the United States drops its case against him, President Guillermo Endara says.

"In the case that the North Americans can't do it, we're going to ask for him, and he will be judged in accord with Panamanian law, because he committed many, many crimes," Endara told reporters Thursday.Noriega's lead defense attorney Frank Rubino said Thursday he plans to move for dismissal of the U.S. drug trafficking case against the former Panamanian strongman. Noriega has been in jail in Miami since shortly after a December U.S. invasion of Panama ousted him from power.

Rubino's statement was in response to CNN broadcasts of parts of taped conversations between Noriega and his lawyers that the defense said prejudice Noriega's case.