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Ex-head of Civil Guard in Spain gets 28 years in jail for fraud, bribery

The former head of Spain's Civil Guard has received a 28-year jail sentence for illegally amassing a $14 million fortune while heading Spain's paramilitary police force.

Luis Roldan Ibanez also was fined $10 million after a Madrid Provincial Court found him guilty Thursday on charges of embezzlement, fraud, bribery and tax evasion. Roldan's attorney said he would appeal the verdict.The scandals surrounding Roldan, the first civilian to head the Civil Guard, helped bring down the 13-year government of Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez in 1996.

Roldan was the country's top police chief between 1986 and 1993 and had been viewed as a top candidate to head the Interior Ministry.

Those ambitions ended shortly after he resigned in 1993, and reports began appearing that accused him of pocketing secret funds earmarked for counter-terrorism and taking construction kickbacks.

Roldan fled Spain as the din of allegations was reaching its peak in May 1994.

He was nabbed in Laos 10 months later and brought back to Spain to stand trial. His six-month trial ended in December.