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Ex-Guatamalan Official Jailed in Spain for Crimes Against Humanity

Guatemala's Interior Minister, Carlos Vielman, listens to journalists' questions during a press conference in Guatemala City, Monday, Feb. 26, 2007. Gunmen stormed a Guatemalan prison and gunned down four jailed police officers in a mafia hit that was clearly aimed at stopping investigators from finding out who ordered the brutal slayings of three Salvadoran politicians and their driver last week, Guatemala's authorities said Monday. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

Guatemala's Interior Minister, Carlos Vielman, listens to journalists' questions during a press conference in Guatemala City, Monday, Feb. 26, 2007. Gunmen stormed a Guatemalan prison and gunned down four jailed police officers in a mafia hit that was clearly aimed at stopping investigators from finding out who ordered the brutal slayings of three Salvadoran politicians and their driver last week, Guatemala's authorities said Monday. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

It's back to jail for a former Guatemalan official in Spain.

Spanish police on Thursday re-arrested a former Guatemalan interior minister on charges of crimes against humanity and ordering the execution of 10 inmates.

Carlos Vielmann was arrested in October on related charges but freed last month after Guatemalan authorities failed to request his extradition.

National court prosecutors secured the latest arrest in Madrid on Thursday, saying Vielmann may be tried as a Spaniard because he also holds Spanish nationality. The country's law allows Spaniards suspected of committing crimes abroad to be tried at home.

Vielmann is one of several Guatemalans targeted by a United Nations-backed commission aiming to end criminal impunity in Guatemala and dismantle illegal security groups there.

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The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala linked Vielmann with the 2006 summary executions of seven inmates at the Pavón Prison outside of the capital, Guatemala City. They were found dead after thousands of police and soldiers stormed the prison, retaking it from inmates who ran a crack-cocaine lab inside.

Vielmann, who claims he is innocent, has said the prisoners died while putting up a fight.

He is also linked to the killing of three inmates in the Infiernito jail a year earlier.

The former minister resigned in 2007 after allegations in one of the cases became known.

Following the first arrest, Guatemala's Constitutional Court granted a request by Vielmann's lawyers to halt his extradition on a technicality. The country's Foreign Ministry had been awaiting the court's decision before making a decision on filing the extradition request.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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