Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin: Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

  • Israel announces four-hour truce after deadly strike on UN school

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • Scores trapped as landslide hits Indian village

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

France

IMF's Lagarde questioned in court over 'Tapie Affair'

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-19

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde faced more questions in a Paris court on Wednesday over her role in a 2008 arbitration that awarded a massive state payout to controversial businessman Bernard Tapie.

It was Lagarde's third visit to the Court of Justice of the Republic, which is empowered to investigate and prosecute crimes committed by ministers in the exercise of their official duties.

The former finance minister was last questioned in May, when she avoided being charged and was instead given the less compromising statues of "assisted witness" in what has become known in France as the "Tapie Affair".

'I have always acted in accordance with the law'

The case revolves around a controversial €400 million state payout ordered by an arbitration panel in 2008 for Bernard Tapie, a former politician and businessman, over his sale of sportswear company Adidas. The arbitration panel upheld Tapie's claim that the Crédit Lyonnais bank had defrauded him by intentionally undervaluing Adidas at the time of the sale and that the state – as the bank's principal shareholder – should compensate him.

It was Lagarde who, in her role as French finance minister at the time, ordered the case to be heard by an arbitration panel instead of proceeding through the regular courts.

Critics argue that the state should not have paid compensation to a convicted criminal who was bankrupt at the time and would not have been able to pursue the case in court. Tapie spent six months in prison in 1997 for match-fixing during his time as president of France's biggest football club, Olympique Marseille.

They say that Lagarde ensured Tapie received preferential treatment by referring the matter to arbitration due to his financial support for former French president Nicolas Sarkozy – Lagarde’s boss at the time – in his 2007 presidential bid.

Lagarde has always denied any wrongdoing.

Tapie was placed under formal investigation for committing fraud as part of an organised gang in late June of last year.

Orange telecoms CEO Stéphane Richard, who was Lagarde's chief-of-staff at the time of the payout, was also placed under formal investigation for fraud in the matter last June.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

 

Date created : 2014-03-19

  • FRANCE

    French tycoon indicted in case linked to IMF chief

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    French baffled by IMF chief’s bizarre letter to Sarkozy

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Orange CEO’s job in question as Lagarde’s image takes hit

    Read more

COMMENT(S)