Europe

Spain: Guatemalan official absolved in prisoner's executions

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2017, file photo, Carlos Vielmann, top, former Interior Minister of Guatemala, arrives to the National Court in Madrid, Spain. Vielmann has been absolved by a Spanish tribunal on Wednesday, March 15, where he was being tried for the murder of 10 people during his tenure as Interior Minister from 2004 to 2007. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2017, file photo, Carlos Vielmann, top, former Interior Minister of Guatemala, arrives to the National Court in Madrid, Spain. Vielmann has been absolved by a Spanish tribunal on Wednesday, March 15, where he was being tried for the murder of 10 people during his tenure as Interior Minister from 2004 to 2007. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)  (The Associated Press)

Former Guatemalan interior minister Carlos Vielmann has been absolved by a Spanish court in a high-profile case of summary executions of inmates a decade ago.

Vielmann, who has Spanish nationality, was facing up to 40 years in jail for the death of ten prisoners — three who fled a high-security jail in 2005, and seven others at another prison where security forces stormed to quell a mutiny a year later.

Two judges ruled that there was not enough evidence to determine Vielmann's responsibility in the deaths. A third judge disagreed, according to the sentence.

The outcome is a blow to rights organizations that had seen in the trial at Spain's National Court an opportunity to fight what they see as impunity by the rich in Guatemala.