International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde (pictured) is to be questioned next month by French judges investigating a case of 'misappropriation of public funds' and 'aiding and abetting falsification' concerning an award from public funds of 403 million euros paid to controversial French tycoon Bernard Tapie when Lagarde was French finance minister, Mediapart can reveal. According to well-informed sources contacted by Mediapart she wil be interrogated on May 23rd, when Lagarde faces being formally placed under investigation - a status one step short of being charged – by the magistrates from the Court of Justice of the Republic, a special French court which is designated to investigate suspected malpractice by government members in the course of their duties. Laurent Mauduit reports.
The head of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde is to appear soon before senior French judges over an investigation into allegations that as French finance minister she was involved in 'aiding and abetting falsification', Mediapart can reveal. The IMF boss is also facing claims that she was involved in the 'misappropriation of public funds'. The affair concerns the controversial decision to use an arbitration process that in 2008 awarded French businessman Bernard Tapie a 403 million-euro payout from the public purse. Lagarde's lawyer is due to learn later this week whether she will be heard as an 'assisted witness'- or be formally placed under investigation. Laurent Mauduit reports.
Mediapart has obtained exclusive access to the scathing conclusions of a French court that prompted its decision earlier this month to open an investigation into IMF chief Christine Lagarde's suspected 'aiding and abetting falsification' and 'misappropriation of public funds' when she was French finance minister. The magistrates from France's Court of Justice of the Republic detail why they suspect that she acted personally to ensure that French tycoon Bernard Tapie, who leant public support to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign, received a payout of 403 million euros from the public purse through an arbitration procedure.
The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund in June appointed former French finance minister Christine Lagarde as its Managing Director in full knowledge of the legal procedure concerning her and which this week led to the opening of an investigation into her suspected involvement in 'aiding and abetting falsification' and 'misappropriation of public funds'. At a moment of grave international economic turmoil, the IMF, still reeling from the Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair, finds itself further weakened. Philippe Riès returns to the background of Lagarde's appointment and interviews Ted Truman, senior fellow with the Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics and a former assistant secretary of the US Treasury for International Affairs, about the consequences of Lagarde's predicament for the IMF.
A French court is to investigate newly-appointed International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde (photo) for suspected 'aiding and abetting falsification' and 'misappropriation of public funds' in her handling of a huge compensation payout awarded to controversial French businessman Bernard Tapie while she was finance minister. Michel Deléan reports.
A French court will decide in August whether the new IMF chief Christine Lagarde will be investigated for her role, when French finance minister, in the controversial 2008 award of more than 400 million euros of public money to French tycoon Bernard Tapie. The case took a new twist in July after Mediapart led revelations over a secret pact between flamboyant, twice-fold rags-to-riches Tapie and an equally colourful entrepreneur called André Guelfi, a.k.a.Dédé la Sardine. The two men, who first met in prison, agreed to share their winnings in Tapie's compensation claim against the Crédit Lyonnais bank, and Guelfi's astronomic and ongoing compensation demand of more than 1 billion euros from oil giant Total, with funds destined to an offshore tax haven. Laurent Mauduit reports.
A decision on whether to launch an investigation into suspected "abuse of authority" and "obstruction of the law" by former French finance minister and new IMF chief Christine Lagarde was postponed by a top French court on Friday. The suspicions over Lagarde's role in a generous payout of public money to French tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008 were originally referred for investigation by France's senior public prosecutor in May. Michel Deléan reports on the latest events in a case threatening to undermine Lagarde's IMF mandate and the reputation of the institution.
by Michel Deléan
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