Rodrigo Rato describes the accusations concerning the alleged illicit origin of his fortune as “fabulation” | Economy | EUROtoday

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Rodrigo Rato, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and vp of the Government with José María Aznar (PP), considers that the accusations concerning the alleged illicit origin of his fortune are a real “fabulation” by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office. This is how the previous politician and ex-banker spoke this Wednesday, throughout his testimony within the trial towards him that has been held by the Provincial Court of Madrid since final December. For 4 hours, the favored chief has defended his innocence, denied all irregularities, and has even accused the investigators of “hiding” data and distorting information to place him within the dock.

“This case is the search for the lost treasure,” Rato has satirized concerning the accusations towards him, which embody using entrance males. “This pretense that anyone who deals with me is me… This pretense that I have a hidden heritage does not hold up […] My sister, my nephew… Every living creature that deals with me, immediately their money is mine and that is not the case,” he alleged in court.

During his interrogation, which has not ended and will continue this Thursday, Rato has attacked the Prosecutor's Office and the Treasury inspectors. He has gone so far as to call the accusations “nonsense.” And in a decisive second, visibly upset, he charged towards the State's lawyer: “This gentleman who is here, on the first day of the trial said that Luxembourg is an opaque territory for the Spanish public agency. It is very strong that a lawyer for the State of the tax agency says that Luxembourg is an opaque territory for the Spanish agency. Do they take us for fools? Come on, man, it's outrageous.”

Anti-corruption maintains that Rato concocted an intricate corporate plot to hide his assets from the Treasury since 1999 (when he was part of the Aznar Government), which included money movements and investment activities with bank accounts scattered around the world (in the Bahamas, Switzerland, Luxembourg , United Kingdom or Monaco). The prosecutor maintains that he also charged illegal commissions for the awarding of advertising contracts during his time as president of Caja Madrid and Bankia.

This is the third trial that Rato faces. The former politician was already sentenced in 2017 to four and a half years in prison for the use of black cards of Caja Madrid —which meant his entry into prison, from which he was released in 2020—. For his part, the National Court acquitted him in 2020 in the process for Bankia's listing on the stock market.

This trial on the origin of the fortune of Aznar's vice president, which has already totaled more than 40 sessions, had entered a tedious and very technical stage, with the interrogations of the experts that lasted until this Tuesday. But, this Wednesday, the oral hearing has attracted attention again. After 10:00, the statements of the accused began, and Rodrigo Rato was in charge of inaugurating this new phase. Previously, the former managing director had arrived at the Provincial Court aware of the importance of this day. After getting off the motorcycle on which he travels and still with the helmet in his hand, the former politician refused to answer the questions from the journalists who were waiting for him.

“Since you're going to listen to me for four hours, I don't want to click on the news…” Rato said, ironically, before entering the building.

Once in the room, the former vice president of the Government has begun to deploy all his weapons. As a first measure, he has announced that he will not answer the questions from the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, which asks that he be sentenced to nearly 70 years in prison, and the State Attorney's Office. As justified, the accusations have used against him a whole battery of emails intercepted during the judicial investigation, which have not been expelled from the case and which “affect third parties” unrelated to the process. “I'm not going to contribute to that,” he confused.

On the a part of the protection of the remainder of the accused, solely Domingo Plazas' lawyer, the lawyer who heads the Plazas Abogados advisory agency, has requested him. According to the general public ministry, this workplace allegedly managed Rato's international accounts and managed its company buildings. They each deny it. “They were not my tax advisors,” stated the previous chief of the PP, who has insisted that he solely turned to them for the regularization that he carried out in 2012, when he took benefit of the tax amnesty accepted by the Government of Mariano Rajoy.

Rato takes out a card ("of American social security") during his statement, this Wednesday.
Rato takes out a card (“from the North American social security”) throughout his assertion, this Wednesday.

Rato's lawyer spoke at 10:53. From then on, with the wind in his favor, the previous politician has navigated questions which have all the time sought to underpin his protection thesis. In this fashion, counting on the questions that his lawyer placed on the desk, the previous vp has repeated that, when the investigation towards him was opened, he had already regularized all of his cash, and that every part is said from so. According to him, there are not any unjustified capital good points and every part is “perfectly identifiable.”

Among different features, the previous politician has attributed a part of the origin of his fortune to an inheritance from his father. “My father paid a fine in 1968 for having money outside of Spain. But he was not forced to repatriate it and he never repatriated it,” the accused stated. According to him, his father died in 1998 and, after his mom fell ailing, Rato and his brothers determined between 2003 and 2004 that he would take cost of these funds that his father “had in Switzerland.” ”. The former chief of the PP has additionally charged towards the inspectors and accusations for questioning that he lived exterior of Spain throughout his time on the head of the IMF.

“I lived in Washington for all intents and purposes,” he highlighted, earlier than including: “As incredible as it has been the subject of discussion, I have had to take out the trips. Let's see… In 2005, I spent 206 days in Washington and 85 days traveling. In 2006, I spent 227 days in Washington and 80 days traveling. And in 2007, I spent 255 days in Washington and 24 days traveling,” he informed the court docket.

From that stage, Rato has defined that he had two accounts within the United States, one belonging to the International Monetary Fund itself, the place his wage was deposited, and one other within the BSI financial institution. Regarding the latter, he has indicated that it was the entity that determined that the account be opened within the Bahamas department; and that in 2008, when he returned to Spain, he moved to Switzerland. Likewise, he has acknowledged on a number of events that the cash on this account was “clean”, because it got here from the reimbursement of a mortgage and the sale of a property owned by a household firm, and that the exercise that seems in it’s utterly logic: “If I have 700,000 euros and I move a million, I understand that it might catch someone's attention. But if I have a million and I move 700,000, it doesn't make any sense,” he has acknowledged each time his lawyer requested him concerning the notes questioned by Anti-Corruption.

In any case, Rato has confused that he “did not move anything”, however that managers or intermediaries did it, because the IMF prevented them from managing their very own “portfolios”, whereas highlighting that the fund requested all officers and members of the board annual data on all investments to make sure that nobody benefited from “privileged information.” “And they asked you a lot of questions,” he specified.

The 'squire' will stay silent

The oral listening to will proceed this Thursday with the second a part of Rato's interrogation (his lawyer nonetheless has extra inquiries to ask him). When it's over, the remainder of the defendants will comply with. The lawyer of José Manuel Fernández Norniella, former Secretary of State for Commerce and former vp of Caja Madrid, has already introduced that he’ll make the most of his proper to not declare. In addition, the court docket has approved Norniella to seem by videoconference from his dwelling, because of his delicate state of well being.

Norniella's introduced silence has its significance. Her determine has accompanied Rato for many years. Both have recognized one another because the Popular Alliance period. According to EL PAÍS, they then solid a fantastic friendship after Manuel Fraga commissioned them each to put in writing the guide. Solutions for a decade. Later, when José María Aznar arrived at La Moncloa, Rato launched Norniella to the Executive's organizational chart. There he already stood out as a devoted squire of the vp and Minister of Economy, who additionally later catapulted him to positions of duty at Caja Madrid and Bankia.

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