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французский министр экономики Франции Кристин Лагард
Christine Lagarde

Photo: EPA

International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde is due to appear before magistrates in France investigating her role in a large payout to a businessman and politician following a dispute, a court spokesman said.

 The 57-year-old is suspected of arranging arbitration that led to a compensation payment of more than 285 million euros (369 million dollars) to Bernard Tapie in 2008, when she was finance minister.

 Tapie, who had been principal owner of Adidas, claimed he had been defrauded by state-owned Credit Lyonnais bank when it arranged the sale of the sporting goods maker in 1992.

 Prosecutors suspect Lagarde of embezzling public funds because the money involved in settling the dispute came from the state treasury. Lagarde denies the allegations.

 The hearing will begin in the early morning and probably take several hours, the court said. The IMF has expressed its confidence that Lagarde can carry out her duties effectively despite the investigation.

 Voice of Russia, dpa


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