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Spain: Ex-IMF boss denies wrongdoing in bank card trial

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2016 file photo, Spain's former finance minister and International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato (center) leaves the National Court in Madrid. Rato has told a court on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016 that he believed a Spanish bank corporate credit card he allegedly misused formed part of his salary and was legal. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza, File)
October 04, 2016 - 2:30 AM

MADRID - Rodrigo Rato, a former head of the International Monetary Fund, has told a court he believed a Spanish bank corporate credit card he allegedly misused formed part of his salary and was legal.

Rato was answering prosecution questions for the first time Tuesday in a trial in which he and 64 others are accused of fraudulent administration and misappropriation of Bankia bank funds by using "opaque" credit cards for irregular and undeclared expenses between 2003 and 2012.

Prosecutors are seeking a 4 1/2 year jail term for Rato, 67, who headed Bankia group between 2010 and 2012. The bank had to be bailed out later.

Rato was IMF chief from 2004 to 2007 and a leading figure in Spain's acting ruling Popular Party from 1996 to 2004.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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