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Saturday 19.08.2017 | Name days: Melānija, Imanta

Court in France questions Head of IMF

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Lagarde arrives at a court in Paris.

Christine Lagarde, the Head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has been summoned to a court in Paris for questioning about a payout to a business magnate taken place at her time as French Finance Minister.

The court has asked her to explain the way she handled a dispute in 2007, which resulted in about 400 million euros being paid to Bernard Tapie.

Head of the IMF is appearing before the Court of Justice of the Republic that investigates ministerial misconduct, BBC reports.

She is certain that the payout was the best solution at the time.

Lagarde could be placed under formal investigation for the decision to use arbitration that she took, not taking into account the advice from senior advisers, to settle a long court dispute between the state and Tapie. The latter is known for being a supporter of the then French President, Nicolas Sarkozy.

In 1993, when Tapie, a controversial figure in French business, sold his shares in sports company Adidas to the bank Credit Lyonnais. Soon after that, the bank sold on the shares thus making a considerbly higher profit, whereas Bernard Tapie claimed Credit Lyonnais had defrauded him.

In 2007, President Nicolas Sarkozy advised that the Finance Ministry – which was led by Lagarde and had been overseeing the dispute – should move the case into arbitration.

In arbitration, Tapie received a higher payout than he expected to receive in court. The Head of the IMF is now not accused of benefiting from the payout, she is being questioned about the misuse of public funds.

If a formal investigation will be commenced, it will affect the reputation of Christine Lagarde, however, it would not be certain that the case will end up in court.

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