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Christine Lagarde, IMF director, Wiki

IMF’s Christine Lagarde found guilty of negligence

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde was found guilty of negligence by a French court, Bloomberg News reported.

Published: December 20, 2016, 10:25 am

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    Paris

    The judges on the French court said that Lagarde should have done more to overturn a 285 million-euro payout to a businessman in an arbitration case during her time as French finance minister.

    It was Lagarde who made the decision almost a decade ago, and ordered the case to be heard by an arbitration panel instead of proceeding through the regular courts.

    By doing so, Lagarde ensured that tycoon Bernard Tapie received preferential treatment by referring the matter to arbitration as a quid pro quo for his financial support for Nicolas Sarkozy during his 2007 presidential bid.

    The 60-year-old IMF chief won’t face a fine or prison term, however, Judge Martine Ract Madoux said Monday in Paris.

    The verdict might derail the career of the woman who had committed, according to the court “an array of faults which by their number and gravity went beyond simple negligence”.

    The IMF has stood by Lagarde in the case, but speculation persists that the organisation may force her to resign to limit any damage to its reputation.

    Her disgraced predecessor, fellow-Frenchman Dominique Strauss-Kahn, stood down as IMF managing director because of sexual assault charges.

    Another former IMF head, Rodrigo Rato of Spain, is currently standing trial on charges of misusing funds when he was head of Spanish lender Bankia.

    karin@praag.org

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