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French Investigators Search IMF Chief's Apartment

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde (file photo)
French authorities have searched the Paris apartment of International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde.

The search is part of an investigation into Lagarde's handling of a 2008 compensation payment to a businessman.

At the time, Lagarde was finance minister under former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Investigators are probing claims that Lagarde acted illegally in approving the 285 million-euro ($370 million) arbitration payout to Bernard Tapie, a Sarkozy supporter.

Critics say the settlement was too generous, but Lagarde denies any wrongdoing.

In 2007, she had ordered a panel of judges to arbitrate a long-running dispute between Tapie and the partly state-owned Credit Lyonnais over the mishandled sale of Adidas in the 1990s.

Lagarde was appointed IMF managing director after her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, quit to face rape charges in New York.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters