Spain: Interior minister defends meeting with probed ex-IMF chief, cites security concerns

Spain's interior minister says he met with former International Money Fund chief Rodrigo Rato only to discuss security concerns after Rato — who is suspected of fraud and money-laundering — received threats, primarily on social media.

Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told a parliamentary commission Friday he did not discuss Rato's case with him during the meeting at the ministry on July 29 that was revealed only after the El Mundo newspaper found out about it and published a story.

Rato is protected by government security agents because he previously served as a Spanish deputy prime minister.

He was at the IMF from 2004-2007 and is a legendary figure from the governing Popular Party. The investigation involving Rato stems from his time as chief executive of Spain's Bankia bank.