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IMF chief is under investigation in France

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Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has been placed under investigation by French magistrates for negligence in a political fraud affair that dates all the way back to 2008 when she was finance minister, according to her lawyer.

She has come under question numerous times about her role in a €400 million compensation payout to businessman Bernard Tapie back in 2008. Lagarde was finance minister in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government at this time, and it has been noted that Tapie supported Sarkozy in his 2007 presidential bid.

Several of Sarkozy’s cabinet members have been caught up in this inquiry, as well as France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard, who was an aide to Lagarde while she was Sarkozy’s finance minister. In previous rounds of questioning, Lagarde had accused Richard of signing the document that facilitated the controversial payment using her pre-printed signature. However, Richard has asserted that Lagarde was fully briefed on the matter beforehand.

French investigators are currently trying to determine whether or not Tapie’s political connections played a role in the government’s decision to resort to arbitration that secured him a massive payout.

Read more about the story at The New York Times.

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