• France's news in English

French court summons IMF's Lagarde

AFP/The Local · 18 Apr 2013, 10:20

Published: 18 Apr 2013 08:51 GMT+02:00
Updated: 18 Apr 2013 10:20 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

IMF chief Christine Lagarde is to be grilled by a special court investigating suspected corruption dating from her time as French finance minister, her lawyer said Thursday.

Lagarde, who took over at the International Monetary Fund in 2011 when the previous boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn stepped down over a sex scandal, has been ordered to appear before the court at the end of May.

She will have to answer allegations that she acted improperly in the handling of a financial dispute that resulted in around €400 million being paid by the state to disgraced tycoon Bernard Tapie.

Prosecutors working for the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) - a body established to try cases of ministerial misconduct - suspect Tapie received favourable treatment in return for supporting Lagarde's then boss, Nicolas Sarkozy, in the 2007 and 2012 presidential elections.

They have described Lagarde's handling of the case as "questionable" and suggested she was partly responsible for "numerous anomalies and irregularities" which could lead to charges for complicity in fraud and misappropriation of public funds.

Lagarde's Paris home was raided by CJR officials last month but she has not yet been charged with any crime. The IMF has stood by her and her lawyer insisted she would be cleared of any wrongdoing.

"As has been expected for several months, the court wishes to question Madame Lagarde," her lawyer, Yves Repiquet, told AFP. "A hearing will be held at the end of May.

"Mme Lagarde will finally have the opportunity to provide the court with explanations and clarifications that will exonerate her of any criminal responsibility."

Story continues below…

The investigation is centred on Lagarde's 2007 decision to ask a panel of judges to arbitrate in a dispute between Tapie and Credit Lyonnais - the collapsed, partly state-owned bank - over his 1993 sale of sports group Adidas.

The arbitration resulted in the payout to Tapie, a former politician and businessman who went to prison for match-fixing during his time as president of France's biggest football club, Olympique Marseille.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Is Marks & Spencer to close Champs-Elysées store?
Photo: AFP

Is it goodbye to crumpets, jam, and English biscuits?

After Calais, France faces growing migrant crisis in Paris
Photo: AFP

While all the focus has been on the closure of the Jungle in Calais, France must deal with the thousands of migrants sleeping rough in Paris. And their numbers are growing.

Restaurant boss suspected of kidnapping Cannes millionaire
The Nice residence of the president of Cannes' Grand Hotel, Jacqueline Veyrac. Photo: AFP

A restaurant owner 'harbouring a grudge', apparently.

Le Thought du Jour
Vive le pont - The best thing about French public holidays
Photo: AFP

The UK might have guaranteed public holidays, but France has "les ponts".

What's on in France: Top things to do in November
Don't miss the chocolate fashion show in Lyon. Photo: Salon du chocolat

The autumn is in full swing in France, and there's plenty to do.

What Paris 'squalor pit' Gare du Nord will look like in future
All photos: Wilmotte et Assoicés

IN PICTURES: The universally accepted 'squalor pit of Europe' is finally getting a facelift.

Halloween: The ten spookiest spots in Paris
Is there really a ghost on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower? Photo: AFP

Read at your own peril.

Halloween holiday in France: Traffic nightmares and sun!
Photo: AFP

But it's great news for the country's beleaguered tourism industry.

French MPs vote to make Airbnb 'professionals' pay tax
Photo: AFP

Do you make a lot of money through Airbnb in France? You'll have to pay a share to the taxman in future.

France and Britain accused of abandoning Calais minors
Photo: AFP

Scores of young migrants are forced to sleep rough for a second night.

Fifteen of the most bizarre laws in France
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Medieval town in south of France upholds ban on UFOs
Mouth fun? French words you just can't translate literally
How France plans to help its stressed-out police force
Paris: 'Flying' water taxis to be tested on River Seine
Paris landlords still charging illegally high rents
Calais migrants given mixed reception in French towns
Lonely Planet says Bordeaux is world's best city to visit
What rights to a future in France for Calais migrants?
Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
How speaking French can really mess up your English
The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
jobs available