Former Lagarde Aide Accused of Moving Rail Route

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A former aide to Christine Lagarde has come under suspicion of attempting to influence a decision on the proposed route of France's famous TGV high-speed train to prevent it from cutting through his mother's garden in south-west France, French newspaper journal Sud-Ouest reported.

François-Gilles Egretier, who as a technical adviser to the IMF Managing Director when she was France's economy minister, was placed under investigation following the news earlier this week.

The French rail network's decision, taken three years ago, to send the new route through the village of Uchacq-et-Parentis angered local residents. It was set to affect 60 homes, including that of Egretier's mother.

The rail network raised eyebrows when it reviewed its decision just three months later and announced it would move the route 3 kilometers further north. The decision affected 15 different residents who launched a complaint.

Sud-Ouest newspaper said the decision was mentioned in a local gazette, in which the mayor of Uchacq-et-Parentis thanked Egretier.

Renaud Van Ruymbeke, a magistrate who is investigating the case, suspects Egretier of having alerted France's transport minister, who organized a meeting with the rail network.

The paper said Egretier's lawyer was not available for comment.