IMF chief, Christine Lagarde, is investigated over compensation paid to tycoon
Thursday 24 January 2013
French anti-fraud police have raided the home of a former close associate of the International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde as part of an investigation into alleged abuse of public office and “embezzlement” when she was French Finance Minister in 2008.
Separately, it emerged that an anonymous letter had been sent from inside the French civil service exonerating Ms Lagarde and pointing the finger of blame at the former President Nicolas Sarkozy and a previous Finance Minister, Jean-Louis Borloo.
The investigation concerns the payment of €430m in state compensation to a disgraced French tycoon, Bernard Tapie, in 2008. Three French magistrates are investigating allegations that Ms Lagarde acted improperly when she created an independent panel to end a legal dispute over the seizure of Mr Tapie’s assets, including the Adidas sportswear company, in the 1990s.
Mr Tapie was jailed in 1997 after being found guilty of a number of offences including the fixing of a football match involving the club he owned at the time, Olympique Marseille. Once a left-wing activist and minister, Mr Tapie switched sides after he left prison to back Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential election.
Magistrates are investigating allegations that Ms Lagarde , as Finance Minister, intervened improperly to ensure that Mr Tapie received significant compensation for what he claimed was the illegal seizure of Adidas by a state-controlled bank. In 2011, Ms Lagarde was appointed as head of the International Monetary Fund after rape allegations (since dropped) forced the resignation of another former French Finance Minister, Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Anti-fraud detectives raided the home of Mr Tapie and that of Stéphane Richard, now head of France Telecom, formerly the head of Ms Lagarde’s private office at the finance ministry. Ms Lagarde is expected to be questioned by investigating magistrates in the near future. It is alleged that Mr Tapie was given a sweetheart deal in return for his high-profile support for Mr Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential election.
- 1 I was a Woman Against Feminism too
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 4 The Tory donor whose firm is one of Britain’s biggest tax avoiders - with HMRC's blessing
- 5 John Barrowman praised for Commonwealth Games opening ceremony gay kiss
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Peaches Geldof inquest: Tragic final days of mother-of-two's life reveal she lied to husband about failed heroin tests
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: victims’ bodies bundled in black bags and loaded onto trains
£30000 per annum: Harrington Starr: My client, a researcher of investment idea...
£63000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A market leading provider of technology dr...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A world leading brokerage is looking for a...
£55000 - £65000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading global exchange is look...