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Banesto corruption allegations

Last updated on 10:08 - by El NACHO - Tags :

Former International Monetary Fund head Rodrigo Rato appeared before a judge Tuesday probing corruption allegations at Spanish bank Banesto whilst he was economy minister, Spanish media said. Rato, his brother Ramon, the head of Santander bank Emilio Botin and 12 others are being investigated in connection with the 1999 purchase by Banesto of 45.3 percent of the Aguas de Fuensanta water utility company from the Rato family.In his one-hour appearance, Rato, who was economy minister in the conservative government at the time, denied wrongdoing and said he was not aware of the details of sale, Spanish media said, quoting lawyers at the hearing.The judge opened his probe following a complaint filed by a Santander and Banesto shareholder.The complaint said Banesto, a subsidiary of the Santander bank, bought the stake in Aguas de Fuensanta from the Rato family even though the water utility was "technically bankrupt" in the hope of "obtaining favours" from the economy minister.Rato stepped down as head of the IMF last year after more than three years in the job.

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