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.
Mike Tyson branded 'superhero' after a surprise good turn
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning
Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy
Charlie Sheen could be set to revive his role as a hedonistic womaniser
Review: Mike Leigh's biopic is a rambling, rich character study
Want to ward off (or welcome) trick-or-treaters? Here's how
- 1 'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Topshop at centre of row over body image as 'shocking' skinny mannequin photo goes viral
- 4 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
- 5 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
Halloween 2014: From the Screaming Man of Pluckley to the 'White Lady' of the Tower of London - Britain's 20 most haunted places
Russian politician says Apple CEO Tim Cook should be 'banned' from country after coming out as gay
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
£20000 - £45000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Position: Early Years TeacherRequired: J...
£85 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Preston: Randstad Education is urgently...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...