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Disgraced former minister enters jail over card fraud

  • Rodrigo Rato is beginning a four-and-a-half-year sentence for his part in a tax and expenses fraud among directors and officials at Bankia

The former deputy prime minister and finance minister under a PP government, Rodrigo Rato, turned up at a prison outside Madrid on Thursday morning. He is beginning a four-and-a-half-year sentence for his part in a tax and expenses fraud among directors and officials at Caja Madrid, now Bankia, involving undeclared credit cards to bolster their income.

"I apologise to society and to any people who have felt disappointed or affected," Rato said shortly before handing himself in, adding that he accepted he should pay his debt to society. A last minute attempt to appeal the sentence to the Supreme Court failed.

Next month the trial starts into Rato's alleged involvement in irregularities at the stock market launch of Bankia in 2011.