IMF chief faces French probe over deal

Christine Lagarde under investigation over her role in a financial settlement when she was finance minister.

    A French court has ordered that Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund chief, be investigated for the role that she played in a financial settlement paid to a friend of President Nicolas Sarkozy during her tenure as finance minister.

    Lagarde is accused of misconduct for overruling objections from advisers to approve a $407m arbitration payout to Bernard Tapie in 2008. Tapie had a long-running legal dispute with Credit Lyonnais, a former state-owned bank.

    He claimed that the bank defrauded him when it sold his stake in Adidas sports clothing group in 1993.

    Critics argue that the legal battle should not have gone to private arbitration, as it involved a state-owned bank.

    Thursday's order came as no surprise to Lagarde.

    Her lawyer, Yves Repiquet, said that Lagarde had been relieved to hear the news - as it ended months of speculation over whether a complaint submitted by opposition groups would result in a probe.

    In an emailed statement, Repiquet said: "This procedure is in no way incompatible with the current functions of the managing director of the IMF."

    Lagarde was appointed head of the IMF last month after her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was charged with sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid and quit.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.