IMF chief faces investigation in corruption case

Paris, Aug 27 :

International Monetary FUND (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde has been put under investigation in France for “negligence” after being questioned for hours in a corruption case, judicial sources said Wednesday. She denied wrongdoing.

Lagarde, 58, however, said she will continue as IMF director, a post she holds since July 2011, a French media report said.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde
IMF chief Christine Lagarde

She has been questioned about her role in awarding 400 million euro ($527 million) in compensation to a businessman. Lagarde, was finance minister in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government at the time of the awarding of the compensation.

She was questioned Tuesday for 15 hours by the Court of Justice of the Republic, tasked with trying ministers for crimes during their time in office.

Lagarde has been interrogated four times by the same court before as an assisted witness.

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

Tapie, who supported president 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 French government.

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.


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