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France

IMF chief Christine Lagarde in French court over payout to ex football boss Tapie

media Christine Lagarde arrives at Paris court, 23 May Reuters/Charles Platiau

Christine Lagarde, boss of the International Monetary fund, is in court in Paris today in connection with a state payout, made while she was French finance minister, to businessman Bernard Tapie one-time president of Marseilles Olympique football club.

The Court of Justice of the Republic, which probes cases alleging ministerial misconduct, wants her to explain her handling of the case during the Sarkozy presidency, and could decide formally to charge her.

Prosecutors suspect that Tapie, a colourful and controversial business figure who served a prison sentence for match fixing, received favourable treatment after agreeing to support Nicolas Sarkozy in his 2007 campaign to become president.

They suggest that Lagarde was responsible for “numerous anomalies and irregularities”.

The investigation centres on the fact that in 2007 she asked a panel of judges to arbitrate in a long-running dispute between Tapie and the collapsed, partly state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais.

Tapie had sold his sports group Adidas in 1993 to Credit Lyonnais. He then accused the bank of defrauding him by deliberately undervaluing Adidas at the time of sale.

Tapie then argued that the state, as former principal shareholder of the bank, should compensate him.

Lagarde maintains that she referred the case to arbitration in order to put an end to a legal dispute which was extremely costly for the tax payer. She denies acting under orders from Sarkozy.

The arbitration panel found in Tapie’s favour and he was awarded 400 million euros in various compensation payments.

Critics claim the state should not have taken the risk of being forced to pay compensation to a convicted criminal who, as he was bankrupt at the time, would not have been able to pursue the case through the courts.

Arriving at court today, Christine Lagarde appeared relaxed. Last month in Washington she said of the case: “There is nothing new under the sun. Ever since 2011, I had known very well that I will be heard by the investigative commission of the Cour de Justice.”

Lagarde told the IMF before she was appointed that she would face questioning in connection with the case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christine Lagarde, boss of the International Monetary fund, is in court in Paris today in connection with a state payout, made while she was French finance minister, to businessman Bernard Tapie one-time president of Marseilles Olympique football club.

The Court of Justice of the Republic, which probes cases alleging ministerial misconduct, wants her to explain her handling of the case during the Sarkozy presidency, and could decide formally to charge her.

Prosecutors suspect that Tapie, a colourful and controversial business figure who served a prison sentence for match fixing, received favourable treatment after agreeing to support Nicolas Sarkozy in his 2007 campaign to become president.

They suggest that Lagarde was responsible for “numerous anomalies and irregularities”.

The investigation centres on the fact that in 2007 she asked a panel of judges to arbitrate in a long-running dispute between Tapie and the collapsed, partly state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais.

Tapie had sold his sports group Adidas in 1993 to Credit Lyonnais. He then accused the bank of defrauding him by deliberately undervaluing Adidas at the time of sale.

Tapie then argued that the state, as former principal shareholder of the bank, should compensate him.

Lagarde maintains that she referred the case to arbitration in order to put an end to a legal dispute which was extremely costly for the tax payer. She denies acting under orders from Sarkozy.

The arbitration panel found in Tapie’s favour and he was awarded 400 million euros in various compensation payments.

Critics claim the state should not have taken the risk of being forced to pay compensation to a convicted criminal who, as he was bankrupt at the time, would not have been able to pursue the case through the courts.

Arriving at court today, Christine Lagarde appeared relaxed. Last month in Washington she said of the case: “There is nothing new under the sun. Ever since 2011, I had known very well that I will be heard by the investigative commission of the Cour de Justice.”

Lagarde told the IMF before she was appointed that she would face questioning in connection with the case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christine Lagarde, boss of the International Monetary fund, is in court in Paris today in connection with a state payout, made while she was French finance minister, to businessman Bernard Tapie one-time president of Marseilles Olympique football club.

The Court of Justice of the Republic, which probes cases alleging ministerial misconduct, wants her to explain her handling of the case during the Sarkozy presidency, and could decide formally to charge her.

Prosecutors suspect that Tapie, a colourful and controversial business figure who served a prison sentence for match fixing, received favourable treatment after agreeing to support Nicolas Sarkozy in his 2007 campaign to become president.

They suggest that Lagarde was responsible for “numerous anomalies and irregularities”.

The investigation centres on the fact that in 2007 she asked a panel of judges to arbitrate in a long-running dispute between Tapie and the collapsed, partly state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais.

Tapie had sold his sports group Adidas in 1993 to Credit Lyonnais. He then accused the bank of defrauding him by deliberately undervaluing Adidas at the time of sale.

Tapie then argued that the state, as former principal shareholder of the bank, should compensate him.

Lagarde maintains that she referred the case to arbitration in order to put an end to a legal dispute which was extremely costly for the tax payer. She denies acting under orders from Sarkozy.

The arbitration panel found in Tapie’s favour and he was awarded 400 million euros in various compensation payments.

Critics claim the state should not have taken the risk of being forced to pay compensation to a convicted criminal who, as he was bankrupt at the time, would not have been able to pursue the case through the courts.

Arriving at court today, Christine Lagarde appeared relaxed. Last month in Washington she said of the case: “There is nothing new under the sun. Ever since 2011, I had known very well that I will be heard by the investigative commission of the Cour de Justice.”

Lagarde told the IMF before she was appointed that she would face questioning in connection with the case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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