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IMF board supports Lagarde amid corruption probe

Posted on Aug 30 2014 | IANS

Washington, Aug Aug 30 : The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) executive board Friday expressed support for Managing Director Christine Lagarde in carrying out her duties in the light of her being put under investigation for showing negligence in a scandal.

Lagarde has been put under investigation in France for "negligence" in her handling of a scandal involving tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008 after being questioned for hours in a corruption case, judicial sources said Wednesday. She has denied wrongdoing.

"As we have said before, it would not be appropriate to comment on a case that has been and is currently before the French judiciary. However, the Executive Board has been briefed on recent developments related to this matter, and continues to express its confidence in the Managing Director's ability to effectively carry out her duties," Xinhua quoted the IMF's decision-making body as saying in a statement.

The 58-year-old former lawyer stressed that the court decision was "unfounded" and that she would file an appeal.

In May 2013, the IMF director was named as "assisted witness" in the fraud investigation, which means there is a possibility for her to be charged later.

The investigation focuses on the decision made by Lagarde, who in 2008 served as France's finance minister in Nicolas Sarkozy's administration, to order a panel of judges to settle by arbitration a legal dispute between Tapie and state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over the mishandled sale of sports company Adidas in 1993.

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