• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Spanish prosecutors demand four years jail for ex-IMF chief
Rato surrounded by officers when he was detained in April. Photo: Gerard Julien / AFP

Spanish prosecutors demand four years jail for ex-IMF chief

AFP · 15 Jan 2016, 08:56

Published: 15 Jan 2016 08:56 GMT+01:00

Rato is one of 66 accused in a scandal that allegedly saw executives and board members at Caja Madrid and Bankia - the group whose near-collapse sparked an EU bailout of Spain's financial sector - spend around €12 million  ($13 million) on themselves between 2003 and 2012.

They are accused of criminal conversion, or the wrongful possession or disposition of another's property as if it were one's own.

On Thursday, prosecutors at the Audiencia Nacional, Spain's top criminal court, asked for a six-year jail sentence for Miguel Blesa who headed up regional savings bank Caja Madrid until 2010 and is accused of starting the practice of giving out credit cards for personal use.

In Spain, prosecutors announce the jail terms they want for suspects after the probe ends and before the trial starts.

They are also seeking four-and-a-half years for Rato who succeeded him and allegedly continued the practice, even when he became board chairman of Bankia, which was formed in 2010 through the merger of seven regional savings banks including Caja Madrid.

Rato, once a member of Spain's incumbent conservative Popular Party and a former finance minister, was also head of the International Monetary Fund from 2004 to 2007, which played a leading role in tackling the eurozone's financial crisis.

Prosecutors said Thursday they were also seeking €9.3 million in compensation from Blesa and €2.7 million from Rato - amounts allegedly spent on credit cards when they were in charge.

Story continues below…

Media reports last year said that the executives and board members spent the money on items such as safaris, meals at luxury restaurants, art, clothing as well as massive cash withdrawals.

When questioned in court in 2014, however, Rato denied any wrongdoing and said the credit cards were for discretionary spending as part of the pay deal for executives in Caja Madrid.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spain arrests seven over stolen Bacon paintings
Francis Bacon's 'Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror' is auctioned in New York City in 2012. Photo: AFP

Spanish police said Saturday they had arrested seven people suspected of involvement in the theft of five paintings worth €25 million ($27.8 million) by renowned British artist Francis Bacon.

Colombia rebels free Spanish journalist
Salud Hernandez-Mora talking to journalists after her release. Photo: AFP

The Colombian rebel group ELN freed a prominent Spanish-Colombian journalist and two local TV reporters Friday after holding them for nearly a week.

Recipe: How to make Spain's summer classic gazpacho
Gazpacho is the perfect lunchtime refresher in the summer heat. Photo: Harlan Harris / Flickr

Chilled, refreshing, and delicious, a bowl of gazpacho is a must during Spain's sizzling summer months.

Model found guilty of murder of Brit millionaire ex-boyfriend
Mayka Kukucova with British businessman Andrew Bush. Photo: Facebook

A Slovakian swimwear model has been found guilty for murdering her British millionaire ex-boyfriend at a court in Malaga.

Spanish bishop demands staff get 'anti-paedo certificate'
Stock photo of priests: AFP

The Bishop of Lleida has requested all staff, including priests and monks, prove they are not paedophiles.

Beach hogger fined in Spain for saving spot with umbrella
Tourists at a Spanish beach. Photo: Jaime Reina/AFP.

Attempting to 'reserve' a spot on the beach of one Costa Blanca resort is being treated very harshly indeed.

Superfast undersea mega-cable to link US and Spain
It will be 16 million times faster than a domestic broadband connection. Photo: Oleg Zaytsev / Flickr

Your internet access is about to get a whole lot faster.

Travel chaos looms as Easyjet workers call strike in Malaga
Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP

Thousands of holidaymakers could be affected by the strike...

Spanish capital gripped by Champions League fever
Real Madrid fans. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

Madrid's two biggest teams will face off against each other in Saturday's Champions League final.

Colombia blames guerrillas for missing journalists
Demonstrators called for the release of Spanish journalist Salud Hernandez Mora in Bogota this week. Photo: Guillermo Legaria/AFP

The Red Cross has joined the search for three journalists missing in Colombia whose disappearance the government blamed on a leftist rebel group.

National
Stunning cave paintings found 300 metres below Spain
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Travel
Five good reasons why Extremadura should be on your bucket list
Lifestyle
Top Ten: Barcelona's coolest rooftop bars
National
Plane forced to dodge THREE drones to land in Bilbao
National
Spain launches campaign to stop English 'invasion'
Culture
Ten unique Basque words you need to learn right now
National
'It’s time to dig up Franco' say victims of Spain's dictatorship
Lifestyle
'Severe jellyfish stings' end Brit's Spanish swim feat
Sport
5 reasons why Spanish clubs dominate European football
International
Tesco to bring British tea and biscuits to Spanish stores
Culture
Bucket list: 16 brilliant things to do once in your life in Spain
National
Spain's Civil War victims to be exhumed from Franco's tomb
National
Two mums face jail for leaving kids in car to go out drinking
Education
Students at Spanish college forced to take exorcism class
National
Ten superb reasons why you need to visit San Sebastián
Society
Abused wife saved by hiding SOS note in son's homework
National
Look up! Rare meteor shower set to dazzle skies over Spain
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
Travel
Ibiza bans drinking in street… and that includes water
National
Expats didn't 'abandon' UK so ALL Brits should get EU vote
Features
What's on in Spain: May 2016
Travel
Discover Spain's breathtaking national parks
National
Couple caught on camera having sex on metro platform
3,369
jobs available