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Rato, who was already implicated in a judicial investigation into his stewardship of Bankia before the Spanish lender had to be bailed out to the tune of €22 billion (£16bn), had reportedly become the focus of money-laundering and fraud accusations regarding his personal wealth.
Earlier this week the former Popular Party (PP) minister did not deny reports that he had taken advantage of the Spanish government’s 2012 tax amnesty to declare previously concealed wealth.