IMF chief quizzed again in corruption probe

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Court seeks more answers from Lagarde over French state's €400m payment to businessman Bernard Tapie to settle dispute over Adidas sale.

Court seeks more answers from Lagarde over French state's €400m payment to businessman Bernard Tapie to settle dispute over Adidas sale.

PARIS - The former French finance minister and current International Monetary Fund chief, Christine Lagarde, is again being questioned at a Paris court over her role in a corruption case known as the "Tapie Affair."

Judges are seeking to determine the exact role the former finance minister had on the state's €400 million (US$560 million) payment to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008 in the settlement of a long-running dispute over the sale of his Adidas sportswear company.

Lagarde, who avoided charges last March and was given the status of "assisted witness," is due to face her former chief of staff, Stéphane Richard, the current CEO of the French multinational telecom company Orange Group.

Richard is one of five people, along with Tapie himself, charged with fraud in the affair.

The payment to Tapie, who had backed then-president Nicolas Sarkozy for election, was decided by an arbitration panel.

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