Monetary Fund chief haled into court over last job

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 summons could pave the way for a formal investigation of Ms. Lagarde, whose Paris apartment was raided by French police last month. The French court is seeking to determine whether Ms. 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 Ms. Lagarde’s boss when she served as finance minister. She has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Ms. Lagarde has earned widespread praise as the Fund’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.

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