News / Europe

IMF Chief Summoned Before French Court

Christine Lagarde speaks during her opening news conference at the start of the IMF / World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C., April 18, 2013.
Christine Lagarde speaks during her opening news conference at the start of the IMF / World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington D.C., April 18, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
— International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde has been summoned to appear before a French court next month in connection with her handling of a political scandal during her past job as French finance minister.

The building believed to contain home of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Paris, March 20, 2013.The building believed to contain home of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Paris, March 20, 2013.
x
The building believed to contain home of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Paris, March 20, 2013.
The building believed to contain home of IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Paris, March 20, 2013.
The summons could pave the way for a formal investigation of IMF chief Christine Lagarde, whose Paris apartment was raided by French police last month. The French court is seeking to determine whether Lagarde misused public funds when she helped broker a $520 million settlement for businessman Bernard Tapie to end a long-running legal battle between him and the state.

Tapie was a friend of former French president Nicolas Sarkozy - who was Lagarde's boss when she served as finance minister. She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Lagarde has earned widespread praise as the IMF's first female head. Among other issues, she has been a key player in bailout talks with indebted European countries. She took over the job from another Frenchman, Dominique Strauss Kahn, who resigned amid a sexual assault scandal in New York. Those charges were later dropped.

A court summons in France does not necessarily lead to charges. Nor does it suggest Lagarde is presumed guilty. Analyst Philippe Moreau Defarges, of the French Institute of International Relations, believes the summons will not weaken Lagarde's tenure at the IMF.

"Mrs. Lagarde is in a strong position because now she's a very respected leader," he said. "She has tried to intervene in the international debate, but in a very cautious, very reserved way. That's why I don't think she will be affected."

Lagarde is also very popular in France, where she led a recent poll on women with a political future. Some even speculate she may eventually run for French president - but analyst Defarges doesn't give her much chance of winning.

"Really, it's impossible. Of course, she will run [on] the right, and the right is so divided today…and probably when Mrs. Lagarde will really run for the presidency I think many people will fight against her," said Defarges.

The IMF has so far not commented on Lagarde's summons. Her lawyer in Paris has told the media she is expected to appear before a French magistrate at the end of May.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid