IMF chief Lagarde’s Paris flat searched over Tapie case French authorities searched the Paris flat of IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Wednesday as part of an investigation into her handling of a 2008 compensation payment to a businessman supporter of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, her lawyer said.

Police are investigating claims that Lagarde, when finance minister under Sarkozy, acted illegally in approving the 285 million euro arbitration payout to Bernard Tapie.

Investigating magistrates suspect her of complicity in embezzling public funds after she overruled objections from advisers to proceeding with the controversial payment.

Lagarde denies any wrongdoing and her lawyer, Yves Repiquet, told the Reuters news agency: “This search will help uncover the truth, which will contribute to exonerating my client from any criminal wrongdoing.”

Tapie received the compensation because he was a majority shareholder in the sportswear brand Adidas. He sued a then part state-owned bank over its handling of the sale of Adidas in 1993.

Socialist President Francois Hollande came to power last May vowing to crack down on the cozy relationships between politicians and businessmen he said were rife under Sarkozy.

Categories: Business

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