Spanish judge confiscates passport of ex-IMF chief Rodrigo Rato in alleged fraud case

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Photo Credit Bankia, Wikipedia
Rodrigo Rato has had his passport confiscated in Madrid

A Spanish court has withdrawn former IMF chief Rodrigo Rato’s passport on Tuesday October 6 during an investigation for alleged tax fraud, money laundering and corruption.

The former Popular Party politician and ex-banking chief faced over three hours of questioning from the regional court in Madrid this morning. At the end of the session a magistrate granted him bail and confiscated his passport.

Judicial authorities released a statement on Tuesday saying that Rato has to appear before the court once a month. However he is still entitled to travel, once it is within the European Union, by using his Spanish identity card.

Now 66, Rato was prominent in Spain’s governing Popular Party, serving as economy minister under then Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar from 1996 to 2004. He was IMF chief from 2004 to 2007.

Rato is under investigation separately for alleged mismanagement at Bankia. He was chief executive of the bank until his resignation in 2012. The investigation includes the alleged misuse of company credit cards by senior staff members for personal expenses during Rato’s tenure. The bank was later bailed out by the government.

Rato has denied any wrongdoing in all the cases.

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