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IMF chief Lagarde found guilty of misuse of French public funds


12-20-2016 05:23 BJT

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France's Court of Justice of the Republic on Monday found Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief, guilty of negligence over a state payout in 2008, but failed to sentence her.

The tribunal, which handles government officials' trials, charged the former French finance minister with negligence for failing to contest a ruling of a financial compensation worth 405 million euros (422.82 million U.S. dollars) to French businessman Bernard Tapie in his dispute with Credit Lyonnais on the acquisition of Adidas in 2008.

Despite the guilty finding, the tribunal did not give any sentence, citing "her personality," "international reputation" and "the context of global financial crisis" as reasons.

Lagarde, who could have faced a one-year term and a 15,000-euro (15,650 U.S. dollars) fine, is looking into appealing the court's decision, according to her defense lawyer.

Served as finance minister from 2007 to 2011, Lagarde had been investigated since August 2011 for her role in an arbitration payout to the business tycoon eight years ago.

But the IMF managing director, who was approved another five-year term in February, denied wrongdoing and insisted her innocence.

Tapie, who was under formal investigation, was ordered in Dec. 2015 to pay the 405 million euros to Credit Lyonnais. (1 euro = 1.044 U.S. dollar)


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