Former Panama dictator sues Call Of Duty creators

Manuel Noriega is taking video game publisher Activision to court for basing a character on him without his permission

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"You found Manuel Noriega? He's in Call of Duty?"

Former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega is taking a leaf out of Lindsay Lohan's book and is suing the makers of Call of Duty for creating a character based on him without his permission.

Despite his current incarceration in Panama jail, the ex-military ruler is seeking lost profits and damages from video game publishers Activision for the "blatant misuse, unlawful exploitation and misappropriation for economic gain" of his image in the 2012 game Call of Duty: Black Ops II. 

During Noriega's six-year rule, Panama became a "narcokleptocracy" run by drug traffickers, money launderers and corrupt officials, with Noriega at the very top. Oh, and he murdered any critics along the way. Sounds like a fantastic reference point for a video game baddie to us. 

In fact, the similarities are pretty impossible to ignore. In Black Ops II, Noriega helps the CIA capture a terrorist before going rogue and killing two American soldiers himself. The Panamanian dictator did in fact have strong ties with the American secret service dating back to the 50s. (The relationship turned sour when the US government realised it didn't look too great propping up an election-rigging, murderous drug lord.)   

The 13-page lawsuit obtained by Courthouse News Service states that the ex-ruler was included in the game for "one purpose: to heighten realism in its video game, Black Ops II. This translates directly into heightened sales for defendants. The defendants deliberately and systematically misappropriated the plaintiff's likeness to increase revenues and royalties, at the expense of the plaintiff and without the consent of the plaintiff."

It is unclear what Noriega wants to do with the money – with over fifteen years left on his sentence, it's likely that he'll die in his prison next to the Panama Canal.

Watch Manuel Noriega in Black Ops 2 below and make up your mind: 

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