Spain’s Supreme Court endorses imprisonment of ex-IMF chief

FILE - In this April 17, 2015 file photo, former Spanish Finance Minister and International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato arrives at his apartment in Madrid, Spain. Spain's Supreme Court has confirmed on Wednesday Oct. 3, 2018, a 4 ½-year prison sentence for Rato for misusing a Spanish bank's corporate credit card. A judge will now need to set a date for the imprisonment. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s Supreme Court has confirmed a 4½-year prison sentence for former International Monetary Fund head Rodrigo Rato for misusing a Spanish bank’s corporate credit card.

A judge of the lower court will now need to order the imprisonment in the next few days of Rato, who was IMF chief from 2004 to 2007 and previously a leading figure in Spain’s conservative Popular Party and Spanish economy minister.

The National Court last year convicted Rato of unlawful misappropriation of funds during his 2010-12 leadership of Bankia, a bank that was later bailed out.

Rato had denied that the credit cards were used for irregular and undeclared expenses.

Rato received the severest sentence among the 64 defendants in the case.

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