Spain: Ex-IMF boss to stand trial in bank card probe

MADRID – Spain’s National Court says it will try Rodrigo Rato, the former head of the International Monetary Fund, and 65 others for alleged misuse of corporate credit cards issued by Spain’s Bankia group.

The court said in a statement Monday that there were signs of fraudulent administration and misappropriation of bank funds by the accused in the use of the “opaque” credit cards for irregular and undeclared expenses between 2003 and 2012.

Prosecutors are seeking a 4 1/2 year jail term for Rato, 66, who headed Bankia between 2010 and 2012. Rato is already the subject of several investigations and has had his passport removed.

Rato was also IMF chief from 2004 to 2007 and a leading figure in Spain’s governing Popular Party, serving as economy minister from 1996 to 2004.