French Probe of IMF’s Lagarde Is Political, Lawyer Tells Echos

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- A French investigation into whether International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde mishandled a dispute involving a supporter of President Nicolas Sarkozy when she served as the country’s finance minister is politically motivated, her lawyer Yves Repiquet said.

Public prosecutor “Jean-Louis Nadal didn’t act on his own initiative but after referral from the opposition for political reasons,” Repiquet said in an interview published by French business daily Les Echos.

Repiquet also said he was “surprised” that the Cour de Justice de la Republique, which backed the prosecutor’s call for a probe, said it would be investigating allegations of aiding and abetting fraud and embezzlement, according to the newspaper.

To contact the reporter on this story: Steve Rhinds in Paris at srhinds@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at vroot@bloomberg.net