IMF Chief's Paris Flat Searched Over Tapie Compensation Case

French authorities searched the Paris flat of IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Wednesday as part of an investigation into her handling of a 2008 compensation payment to a businessman supporter of ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, her lawyer said.

Police are investigating claims that Lagarde, when finance minister under Sarkozy, acted illegally in approving the 285 million euro ($367 million) arbitration payout to Bernard Tapie. She denies any wrongdoing.

"This search will help uncover the truth, which will contribute to exonerating my client from any criminal wrongdoing," Lagarde's lawyer, Yves Repiquet, told Reuters.

($1 = 0.7760 euros)

(Reporting by Chine Labbe and Julien Ponthus; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Angus MacSwan)