News Column

Lagarde charged with "negligence" in French arbitration case

August 27, 2014

By Clare Byrne, dpa

Paris (Alliance News) - International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde has been charged with "negligence" over a colossal state payout to a businessman when she was French finance minister, Mediapart news website and AFP news agency reported on Wednesday.

The charges came after Lagarde was questioned for a fourth time Tuesday by the Court of Justice of the Republic, which investigates and prosecutes allegations of wrongdoing by ministers in the course of their duties.

AFP quoted Lagarde as saying she would not resign her IMF post over the charges.

The case involves a 400-million-euro payout to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008, to settle a long-running dispute over the sale of his sportswear company Adidas.

Investigators are looking at whether the payment, which was decided by an arbitration panel, was politically motivated.

Tapie had backed then president Nicolas Sarkozy for election.

Critics have argued he would have received far less money had the matter been left to the courts, creating suspicion of a political deal to benefit the businessman.

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Source: Alliance News

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