19 Apr 2013

IMF head to be questioned in French court

11:22 am on 19 April 2013

The head of the International Monetary Fund has been summoned to appear before a French court investigating alleged abuse of authority during her time as France's finance minister.

Christine Lagarde is to be questioned before a magistrate in May over her role in the awarding of financial compensation to businessman Bernard Tapie in 2008.

Ms Lagarde, who took over as IMF chief in 2011, denies any wrongdoing.

The BBC reports her apartment was searched last month as part of the ongoing investigation.

As finance minister, Ms Lagarde referred Mr Tapie's long-running dispute with bank Credit Lyonnais to an arbitration panel, which awarded him €400 million in damages.

Mr Tapie was a supporter of ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Critics say she abused her authority but Ms Lagarde denies any wrongdoing.