Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Rodrigo Rato was handed a jail sentence of four years and six months on Thursday for misusing funds when he was the boss of two Spanish banks. Spain’s National Court, which deals with corruption and financial crime cases, said he had been found guilty of embezzlement when he headed up Caja Madrid and Bankia, at a time when both groups were having difficulties. The case prompted outrage in Spain, where it was uncovered at the height of a severe economic crisis that left many people struggling financially — made all the worse because Bankia later had to be nationalised and injected with more than €22bn in public funds. Rato, who is also a former Spanish economy minister, remains at liberty pending a possible appeal. He was on trial with 64 other former executives and board members at both banks accused of misusing €12m between 2003 and 2012 — sometimes splashing out at the height of Spain’s economic crisis. They were accused of having pai...

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