The Court of Justice of the Republic in France convicted International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Monday in connection with the payout case, reported AFP. The court, however, said that no punishment will be meted out to Lagarde. Her lawyer said his team may challenge the decision.
The trials began on December 12. Lagarde, however, had left for Washington and was not present for the verdict, her lawyer told Reuters. Under normal circumstances, Lagarde would have faced a fine of up to $15,700 (Rs 10 lakh approximately) and up to one year in jail, reported The New York Times.
The IMF chief has been found guilty of negligence and giving preferential treatment to French business tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008 when the latter was involved in a financial dispute with Credit Lyonnais, a state-owned bank at that time. As France’s finance minister, she had approved a € 400 million (Rs 2,774 crore) state payout to the businessman. Investigators had said her order for an arbitration into the dispute over the sale of sportswear giant Adidas led to the “misuse of public money”.
Lagarde’s conviction is a further blot on the IMF that already faces a credibility crisis. Lagarde joins the other two former managing directors of the Washington-based institution who have had to face trials. While Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigned from his position in 2011 after facing sexual assault charges, Rodrigo Rato has been accused of misusing funds when he headed Spanish lender Bankia.