IMF chief set to testify at fraud probe

The chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is set to testify before court in a corruption probe into her alleged role in a 400 million-euro scam while she was Franceâ„¢s finance minister.

Christine Lagarde will appear before the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) on Wednesday to explain her actions that resulted in the huge payout to disgrace former Minister of City Affairs Bernard Tapie, who has served two years in prison for corruption.

Prosecutors suspect that Tapie received favorable treatment in return for giving support to Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 and 2012 presidential elections.

The prosecution suggests Lagarde was somewhat responsible for “numerous anomalies and irregularities,” which could lead to charges for complicity in fraud and misappropriation of public funds.

The probe focuses on her decision to overrule objections from advisers in 2007 and instead go ahead with arbitration between Tapie and the collapsed bank Credit Lyonnais, over his sale of sports group Adidas in 1993.

Tapie claimed the bank had defrauded him after it resold his stake for a much higher sum and argued that the state, who at that time owned the bank, should compensate him.

Critics said the state should not have paid the 400-million euro compensation to the convicted Tapie, who at that time was bankrupt, since he would not have been able financially to take the case through the courts.

With the payout, Tapie was able to repay his huge debts and relaunch his business career.

Throughout the investigation, Lagarde has denied the accusations and rejected that she had acted under direct orders from Sarkozy.

Largarde is the second IMF chief to appear before court as her predecessor and compatriot Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned as head in 2011 over an alleged sexual assault.

CAH/PR

This article originally appeared on : Press TV