Spanish economy minister to testify in bank probe

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Associated Press

Posted on February 1, 2013 at 8:34 AM

MADRID (AP) — Spain's Economy Minister Luis de Guindos has been called by the National Court to testify in a probe into alleged fraud at one of the country's major banks.

The court said Friday that De Guindos will give testimony on Feb. 18 as a witness relating to Bankia SA, which had to be nationalized and bailed out by the state for €18 billion ($24 billion).

As a government minister he may provide written replies or be questioned at his ministerial office. Also called are former Bank of Spain governor Miguel Fernadez Ordonez and Bankia's president Jose Ignacio Gorigolzarri.

Judge Fernando Andreu is investigating suspected mismanagement by former Popular Party minister and ex-IMF chief Rodrigo Rato and 32 other one-time Bankia board members. Rato has not been charged with any crime.

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