Former Spanish minister, Rodrigo Rato, yesterday entered Madrid’s Soto del Real prison to begin a four-and-a-half year jail term for his part in the so-called ’black cards’ fraud in the Caja Madrid bank. Yet, before doing so the former head of Bankia apologised “to society and the people who may have felt disappointed or affected.”
Seemingly calm, the former head of the IMF arrived at the prison at 1pm, carrying large bags with his personal effects and accompanied by his wife. According to sources close to the former minister, Rato chose to serve his time in Soto del Real because of its proximity to the National Court, as he still faces two prosecutions, one over Bankia’s ill-fated public listing in 2011, with the trial set to begin in late November, and another for tax fraud. In 2017, the high court found Rato responsible for overseeing the misuse of credit cards at the bank, which involved 64 former Bankia executives, including himself.