Revealed: how IMF chief Lagarde ducked Tapie fraud trial

IMF chief Christine Lagarde was called by French tycoon Bernard Tapie to testify as a witness at his current trial in Paris on charges of fraud over a staggering 2008 award to him of 404 million euros out of public funds. The payout was made while Lagarde was French finance minister, and followed her approval of a private arbitration process which has since been overturned. Washington-based Lagarde has declined to appear at the trial, where she would have been a key witness, apparently because of her busy agenda. Mediapart’s Laurent Mauduit has discovered that in fact Lagarde has every opportunity to attend the trial, but has instead decided to take part in an unrelated event just a few kilometres away from the Paris courthouse.

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In the trial that opened earlier this month of flamboyant French tycoon Bernard Tapie and five others accused variously of organising and of colluding in the fraudulent payout to him in 2008 of more than 400 million euros from state funds, a notable absentee on the witness stand is International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde.   

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