IMF’s Lagarde Escapes Formal Investigation In French Case

French magistrates decided on Friday not to place IMF chief Christine Lagarde under formal investigation over her role in a 285-million-euros ($368.5 million) arbitration payment made to a supporter of former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Lagarde was instead given the status of a “supervised witness”, after she was questioned on her 2008 decision as Sarkozy’s finance minister to use arbitration to settle a court battle between the state and businessman Bernard Tapie.

“My explanations answered questions raised about the decisions that I had made at the time,” Lagarde told reporters outside the Paris court. “My status as a supervised witness is not a surprise for me because I always acted in the interest of the state and according to the law.”