July 29 (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke should testify in the lawsuit by American International Group Inc's former chief Maurice 'Hank' Greenberg against the United States over the insurer's 2008 bailout, a judge ruled on Monday.
Judge Thomas Wheeler of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims rejected the government's effort to keep Bernanke from being deposed, saying the Fed chairman was a 'central figure' in the decision to bail out AIG.
'Indeed, the court cannot fathom having to decide this multi-billion dollar claim without the testimony of such a key government decision maker,' Wheeler wrote. 'These facts constitute 'extraordinary circumstances' for the taking of Mr. Bernanke's deposition.'
Greenberg's Starr International Co, which once had a 12 percent stake in AIG, is suing over the government's taking of a 79.9 percent stake in the insurer in September 2008 and a separate 1-for-20 reverse stock split in June 2009.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick) Keywords: AIG BAILOUT/LAWSUIT
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