Spain minister asks to appear in Parliament, explain meeting with ex-IMF chief in fraud probe

MADRID – Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz has asked to appear before a commission in Spain’s lower house of Parliament to explain why he met last month with Rodrigo Rato, the former International Monetary Fund chief under investigation on suspicion of fraud and money-laundering.

Diaz made the request Tuesday and is expected to make the parliamentary appearance on Friday.

He has come under fire from opposition politicians because investigators who work for the Interior Ministry are conducting the investigation into the allegations involving Rato, which stem from his time as chief executive of Spain’s Bankia bank. It was bailed out by the government in 2012.

Prior to his time at the IMF between 2004 and 2007, Rato was Spain’s economy minister and a legendary figure in the country’s ruling Popular Party.