By Jonathan Davies

Manuel Noriega, the former dictator of Panama, has had his lawsuit against the makers of Call of Duty thrown out by a judge.

The former leader, who is currently serving a jail sentence for crimes committed during his time in power, tried to sue Activision after it included a character based on Noriega in Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

But a judge at the Los Angeles Superior Court said the character was protected under free speech laws.

"This was an absurd lawsuit from the very beginning and we're gratified that in the end, a notorious criminal didn't win," said Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, who defended Activision in the case.

"This is not just a win for the makers of Call of Duty, but is a victory for works of art across the entertainment and publishing industries throughout the world."

"Today's ruling is a victory for... global audiences who enjoy historical fiction across all works of art," said Bobby Kotick, chief executive of Activision's parent company, Activision Blizzard.

In the game, Noriega helps the CIA to capture a Nicaraguan terrorist but later betrays them and is later hunted down in fictional scenes.

In reality, he former dictator did work as an informant for the US, but President George Bush because concerned over his crimes and ordered the invasion of Panama in 1989, which resulted in his capture.

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