Jordan's former spy chief, once one of the country's most feared and powerful officials, has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Retired General Mohammad al-Dahabi, who ran the country's intelligence agency from 2005 to 2009, was found guilty of money laundering, embezzlement and abuse of power.

He was also ordered to return $30m (€19m).

It was the first time a member of the political elite had been tried and jailed in a country where accusations of corruption are widespread and the security service wields huge power.

Dahabi's arrest last February and his trial which began in Amman a few months later were the most dramatic steps in an anti-graft campaign heralded as the largest ever in Jordan.

The drive launched by King Abdullah last year was seen as a response to Arab Spring-inspired demonstrations calling for greater political freedoms and an end to corruption.

Prosecutors said Dahabi's wealth had quadrupled during his years in office, reaching almost €25m by the end of 2011.

They also said Dahabi used intelligence department funds to design a palatial house, and received kickbacks from contractors.

Dahabi denied the charges. His supporters have said he is a political scapegoat.