March 8, 2017 / 11:44 AM / 5 months ago

Paris prosecutor requests that Orange chief Richard face trial in Tapie affair-source

PARIS, March 8 (Reuters) - The Paris prosecutor has requested that Stephane Richard, the chief executive of French telecoms group Orange, should face trial for fraud alongside French businessman Bernard Tapie and four others, a judicial source said.

The Tapie affair surrounds payments the entrepreneur received in 2008 from the French government while Richard was chief of staff to Christine Lagarde, then France's finance minister.

Lagarde, now head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), escaped punishment and kept her job despite being convicted of negligence in the same affair.

The prosecutor's request was made to an investigating magistrate who will then decide whether to go ahead with a trial for fraud and misuse pf public funds.

Tapie declined to comment. Officials representing Richard could not immediately be reached for comment. (Reporting by Chine Labbe; Writing by Andrew Callus; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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