A former senior judge involved in settling one of France’s most high profile and costly compensation cases has been arrested for fraud.
Eighty-six-year-old Pierre Estoup is suspected of using his influence to increase the payout to flamboyant businessman Bernard Tapie.
It eventually topped 403 million euros.
Investigators suspect Estoup knew Mr Tapie’s lawyer, a fact he did not reveal at the time.
Bernard Tapie was given the money to settle a dispute with the state-owned bank, Credit Lyonnais, related to the sale of the Adidas sports equipment company he owned in the 1990s.
The head of the IMF has also been drawn into the debacle.
Christine Lagarde is an “assisting witness”. She was French finance minister at the time of the controversial payoff, which used state funds.
She says she has always acted in the interest of the state and in accordance with the law.