Christine Lagarde, IMF chief, to face trial over £290m payout to businessman Bernard Tapie - reports

News of the trial was first reported by iTele TV and Mediapart, a French investigative website

Hazel Sheffield
Thursday 17 December 2015 16:18
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Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, has warned Greece still requires significant debt relief
Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, has warned Greece still requires significant debt relief

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, is reportedly facing trial in France over a €400 million (£290 million) payout to businessman Bernard Tapie, according to French media.

Magistrates at the Cour de justice de la Republique, which judges ministers for crimes in office, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The reports were made on the French channel iTele TV and Mediapart, a French investigative website.

Bernard Tapie, a former French football team owner and some time pop star, won €403 million in 2008 in a case against the French public bank Crédit Lyonnais, after he said the bank undervalued his stake in Adidas. Christine Lagarde signed off on the payout as France's minister of Finance at the time.

Embattled tycoon Bernard Tapie attends a broadcasted debate on French news channel iTele

Investigating judges later deemed the payout a "sham" after it was revealed that one of Tapie's lawyers had links to one of the judges.

A Paris court annulled the decision in February and in July, Tapie took his claim to French civil courts where he now stands to be awarded up to €1 billion.

Lagarde denies any wrongdoing. France's main prosecutor had recommended that charges of negligence against Lagarde were dropped.

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