PANAMA CITY: Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was cremated on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), two days after dying in hospital aged 83, his lawyer Ezra Angel told Agence France-Presse. The disposal of Noriega’s body came after a small group of his relatives and friends gathered on Tuesday to pay private tribute to the strongman, who ruled over his Central American nation from 1983 to 1989. Noriega died on Monday in the public Santo Tomas hospital in Panama City, where he had been recovering since surgery in March to remove a benign brain tumor. His family said he suffered strokes, respiratory problems, prostate cancer and depression in his later years. He had been granted temporary release from prison for the operation. He had been serving three consecutive 20-year sentences for the murders and disappearance of opponents during his reign.