Ex-minister facing corruption trial turns to Buddhism

One-time IMF and Bankia boss Rodrigo Rato seen meditating as courts scrutinise his millions

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EPA archive photo of Rodrigo Rato accompanied by customs agents

By Samantha Kett

DISGRACED former Bankia chair and deputy president of Spain Rodrigo Rato got in touch with his spiritual side over Easter with a week-long stay at a Buddhist retreat.

Last Monday’s edition of gossip magazine Interviú said the tycoon and top-flight politician, who is facing 11 charges of corruption and nine counts of tax fraud, shut himself away from what he calls a ‘witch-hunt’ and spent the holidays meditating under the guidance of the Dalai Lama’s one-time right-hand man, Alan Wallace.

The peace and quiet, yoga and relaxation at the Sakya Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies on the eastern Spanish coastline was a dramatic change of scenery for ex-International Monetary Fund (IMF) chairman Rato, who is accused of ‘inflating’ Bankia’s assets to up its share prices and convince investors and of setting up dormant ‘front’ companies to launder his cash.

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