News Column

Lagarde placed under investigation over corruption case

August 27, 2014

Paris, Aug 27 (EFE).- International Monetary Fund (IMF) director Christine Lagarde has been put under investigation in France for "negligence" after she was questioned for hours in connection with a corruption case, judicial sources said Wednesday.

Lagarde however told French media she will continue as IMF director, a post she holds since July 2011.

The French politician was questioned on Tuesday for 15 hours by the Court of Justice of the Republic, which is tasked with trying ministers for crimes during their time in office.

Lagarde, a former finance minister, had been interrogated four times by the same court before as an assisted witness.

The investigation seeks to determine Lagarde's role in the $527 million compensation paid to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008 when she was a minister.

Tapie, who supported president Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 elections, had sued the Credit Lyonnais Bank for its handling of the sale of the Adidas sports firm in which he was a majority shareholder.

The businessman claimed the company, which had been confiscated, was sold by Credit Lyonnais at a price below the market and demanded compensation from the State.

After years of wrangling in the courts, the case was referred by Lagarde to a private arbitration panel which decided the value of the compensation.

Lagarde's choice of a private arbitration over the judiciary raised allegations about corruption regarding the process.

Five people were charged during the investigation, including Tapie, also a former minister and known for his friendship with Sarkozy, and Lagarde's bureau director at the finance ministry, Stephane Richard, who currently heads Orange telecommunications. EFE


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Source: EFE Ingles

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