THE former head of the International Monetary Fund has told a court he thought his use of a company credit card was legal.
Spain’s Rodrigo Rato claimed he believed his corporate card during his tenure at Bankia bank formed a part of his salary.
The 67-year-old was answering prosecutor’s questions in the first day of a trial in which 64 others are accused of using company credit cards while working at Bankia to buy luxury, non-work related items worth millions of euros.
Prosecutors claim around €12 million was splashed on hotels, designer clothes, entertainment and travel, all of which were unrelated to their duties.
A lot of the spending occurred while Spain was going through one if the largest financial crises in its history.
Prosecutors are seeking a four-and-a-half year jail term for Rato, who was head of the Bankia group from 2010 to 2012.
He had been the IMF chief between 2004 and 2007 and was a leading figure in Spain’s Partido Popular from 1996 to 2004.