• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Orange chief faces fraud charges in Lagarde probe

AFP/The Local · 12 Jun 2013, 18:16

Published: 12 Jun 2013 18:16 GMT+02:00

Stéphane Richard, the head of telecoms company Orange and a former aide to IMF chief Christine Lagarde, was charged Wednesday with fraud in a corruption probe dating from her time as France's finance minister.

Reacting to the charges, he was described as being in "confident and combative" mood by close friends.

Richard was Lagarde's chief of staff when, in 2008, she sanctioned a state payout of €400 million euros to disgraced tycoon Bernard Tapie.

Richard had been taken in for questioning on Monday, along with Jean-François Rocchi, who headed a financial institution created to hold the non-performing assets owned by the Credit Lyonnais bank, the source said.

The International Monetary Fund chief was questioned for two days in May about the €400-million payout to Tapie, but she avoided charges and was instead named an "assisted witness".

The arbitration followed a dispute between the businessman and partly state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over his 1993 sale of sports group Adidas.

The panel upheld Tapie's claim that Credit Lyonnais had defrauded him by intentionally undervaluing Adidas at the time of the sale and that the state, as the bank's principal shareholder, should compensate him.

Story continues below…

Orange had said on Monday that Richard would continue to remain the company head.

Investigators have also been probing whether Tapie was favoured in return for having supported ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, Lagarde's then boss, in the 2007 presidential election.

AFP/The Local (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The 11 different Americans that you'll meet in France
Photos: AFP, Steve Webel, menard-mickael/Flickr

The 11 different Americans that you'll meet in France
3 hours ago

Which type of American expat in France are you?

Terrifying video shows why not to go near sea in France
Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Terrifying video shows why not to go near sea in France
4 hours ago

Don't go down to the water in France during gale force winds and high seas and definitely never turn your back to the sea.

France terror attacks
Schools: France vows to fight terror conspiracy theories
Some conspiracy theorists question whether police ever truly found this getaway cars used at the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

Schools: France vows to fight terror conspiracy theories
5 hours ago

Recent terror attacks in France have got talk of police plots and government cover-ups flying among young people and France wants to put an end to it, as it fights radicalization.

French ski resorts 'lying about how long their pistes are'
Photo: AFP

French ski resorts 'lying about how long their pistes are'
6 hours ago

French ski resorts are telling fibs about the length of their slopes, according to a German report.

(Hardly any) French MPs back emergency powers reform
Photo: AFP

(Hardly any) French MPs back emergency powers reform
8 hours ago

French MPs backed enshrining state of emergency powers in the constitution, but 411 of them didn't bother to turn up.

More weather warnings as storms sweep through France
Waves break over the harbour of Lesconil, western of France. Photo: AFP

More weather warnings as storms sweep through France
8 hours ago

UPDATED: France's weather agency issued even more warnings on Tuesday as violent storms crashed through the north.

France threatens to unfriend Facebook in three months
France is threatening to break friends with Facebook unless it falls into line. Photo: AFP

France threatens to unfriend Facebook in three months
9 hours ago

France has given Facebook a deadline of three months to stop spying on users and sending data back to the US.

French taxi wars
Uber goes offline in France to support minicab strike
Uber drivers won't be working for most of Tuesday afternoon. Photo: AFP

Uber goes offline in France to support minicab strike
10 hours ago

With Uber going on strike, Parisians might have to actually get taxis today.

French train 'was 90km/h over limit' before deadly crash
Photo: AFP

French train 'was 90km/h over limit' before deadly crash
11 hours ago

An 'apocalyptic' train crash in November that left 11 dead has been blamed on "massively excessive speed" - the train was travelling 100km/h over the advised speed limit.

Opinion - Uberisation
'Uber's victory over taxis is sign of progress in France'
An Uber car overturned by taxi drivers during a recent protest. Photo: AFP.

'Uber's victory over taxis is sign of progress in France'
12 hours ago

Why the "victory" of Uber over France's traditional taxi drivers is a sign of hope for France, according to our guest blogger.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Gallery
Ten reasons why France is a great place to work
Politics
Why France is unlikely to force UK to move border back home
Society
The French foods you need to eat (in moderation) to stay healthy
Lifestyle
So where do all the Americans live in France and where do they avoid?
Public warned as gale force winds and giant waves lash the French coastline
Lifestyle
How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - that's not a joke
Only in France - Pig's entrails, cheese and steak sold in vending machines
Travel
Wait... that's not snow! Check out France's most unique ski slope
Culture
Don't panic, France isn't bidding a final adieu to the circumflex
Culture
VIDEO: UK group performs Shakespeare for Calais refugees
National
France cuts more red tape: E.G. No license needed to collect horse's sperm
Gallery
How France could really simplify the French language (for us learners)
Culture
Say good bye to 'oignon': How 2,400 French words will get new spellings
Sport
US calls on French help to prevent 'Paris-style' attack at Super Bowl
Culture
Betty Blue star Béatrice Dalle says she ate a dead man's ear (while on acid)
Analysis & Opinion
It's no surprise the French are losing faith in Hollande's war on terror
Culture
What's on: Here are 10 great things to do in France in February
Culture
The 300-metre monument Paris could have had instead of the Eiffel Tower
How a drunken stunt with a mattress on an Alps ski slope ended in tragedy
Culture
Chandeleur - The day the French get superstitious
Culture
Did fear of losing success drive top French chef to commit suicide?
See what changes in France from February 1st
Culture
'S**t! B**lox!'- Ramsay sees Versailles restaurant lose star
3,508
jobs available