"Ex-IMF head Rodrigo Rato went before a judge Thursday over
allegations that he and other former executives at a bailed-out Spanish
bank went on lavish spending sprees with company credit cards.
The 65-year-old went to court along with two other former executives for questioning by a judge investigating Bankia, the group whose near-collapse sparked a 41-billion-euro ($52 billion) bailout for Spain's financial sector.
The three were met by yells of "
'Thieves!' from protesters who say they lost their savings when Bankia collapsed in 2012.
Audit documents submitted by prosecutors to the court detailed a total of more than 15 million euros of suspect spending with credit cards by former managers of the group, which Rato headed from 2010 to 2012.
Prosecutors said the credit cards were used for personal purchases with media reports detailing spending on safaris, meals at luxury restaurants, art, clothing and massive cash withdrawals.
Rato made no comment as he arrived shortly before 5:00 pm (1500 GMT) at the National Court, Spain's top criminal tribunal, for questioning by Judge Fernando Abreu.
The scandal has fuelled indignation in Spain, where one in four workers are unemployed, ahead of a general election expected by the end of next year."