Christine Lagarde No Longer Suspected of Malfeasance in Her Involvement with Arbitration Case
After over 25 hours of being interrogated over her involvement in an arbitration case that took place in 2008, director general of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, will be called as a witness instead of a suspect.
The arbitration case in question involved a multimillion dollar dispute between a wealthy French businessman, Bernard Tapie, and the failed Credit Lyonnais bank. Since Ms. Lagarde was France’s finance minister at the time in which the dispute was arbitrated, her role in the proceedings was being questioned by a panel of magistrates of the Court of Justice of the Republic, which handles malfeasance cases in France.
Lagarde made a public statement regarding the result of the interrogation process and informed the public that she is now to be a witness in the further investigation rather than a suspect. She has maintained her innocence throughout the interrogation process, stating, “I have always acted in accordance with the interest of the state and in conformity with the law.”
After the lengthy interrogation, the magistrates of the Court of Justice of the Republic determined that the former finance minister did not violate French law in any way in allowing the arbitration proceedings to occur. Lagarde’s role at the time was stopping court action against Tapie while authorizing three judges to arbitrate the case. The result of that arbitration was that Tapie was awarded €400m in compensation, which was eventually funded by French taxpayers. The primary investigation occurring now was regarding Lagarde’s role (or lack thereof) in the embezzlement of state funds.