IMF chief Christine Lagarde's home searched by French authorities
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde in Brussels, Friday, March 15, 2013. (AP / Virginia Mayo)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, March 20, 2013 2:36PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 20, 2013 10:30PM EDT
PARIS - French investigators have searched the Paris home of International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde.
Her lawyer says Lagarde welcomed the search as another step in proving her innocence as authorities look into her role in a 400-million-dollar arbitration deal in favor of a tycoon.
Lagarde was France's finance minister when magnate Bernard Tapie won a 2008 settlement with a state-owned bank over the mishandled sale of Adidas in the 1990's.
Critics say the settlement was too generous and that the Adidas case shouldn't have gone to a private arbitration authority because it involved a state-owned bank.
They also claim Lagarde should have questioned the independence of one of the arbitration panel's judges.
Questions about the settlement began before Lagarde was appointed head of the Washington-based International Monetary Fund.
During her four-year tenure as France's finance minister, she won praise for her role in international negotiations during the global financial crisis and Europe's debt troubles.