SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

French court summons IMF’s Lagarde

IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been summoned to testify in a French court, her lawyer confirmed on Thursday. Lagarde will give evidence as part of a probe into a €285 million arbitration payment made to businessman Bernard Tapie when she was a government minister.

French court summons IMF's Lagarde
Photo: AFP

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."

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.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

CRIME

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

French Border police at the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris shot - and killed - man who was wielding a knife in the public area of the airport on Wednesday.

French police shoot dead knife-wielding man at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport

Border police reportedly shot a man with aggressive behaviour who brandished a knife in the public area of the Charles de Gaulle airport outside of Paris, on Wednesday morning, police and airport sources told AFP.

“This morning officers neutralised a threatening individual in possession of a knife at the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport,” the Paris police department said on its Twitter account.

A source close to the investigation told BFMTV that the man – who was likely homeless – went towards the officers, despite being asked several times to put the knife down. In response, police shot the man in the abdomen, and the individual later died.

The incident took place in the busy, public area of terminal 2F around 8:20 am, when “a homeless man started bothering security agents and border police were called in to remove him”.

Initially the man left while yelling curses but he soon returned and brought out a knife, when one of the officers fired his weapon.

An AFP photographer who witnessed the scene said “a large person of colour brandished something that looked like a knife at the police”.

“He was ordered to stop but kept advancing toward them, and an officer fired a single shot.”

The man was quickly put on a stretcher and evacuated, the photographer said. 

Security forces have been on high alert for terrorist attacks since a wave of jihadist killings that have killed more than 250 people since 2015, often by so-called “lone wolves” who often target police.

SHOW COMMENTS