Saturday, 04 February 2023
IMF chief to stand negligence trial in France

IMF chief to stand negligence trial in France

IMF chief Christine Lagarde is to stand trial in France for alleged negligence over a €404m ($438m; £294m) payment to a businessman in 2008.

She was finance minister in President Nicolas Sarkozy's government at the time of the compensation award to Bernard Tapie for the sale of a firm.

Mr Tapie supported Mr Sarkozy in the 2007 presidential election.

Ms Lagarde's lawyer described the court's decision as "incomprehensible", and said the IMF boss would appeal.

In a statement she said she had "always acted in this affair in the interest of the state and in respect of the law", according to AP.

Mr Tapie was once a majority shareholder in sports goods company Adidas but sold it in 1993 in order to become a cabinet minister in Francois Mitterrand's Socialist government.

He sued the Credit Lyonnais bank over its handling of the sale, alleging that the partly state-owned bank had defrauded him by deliberately undervaluing the company.

His case was later referred by Ms Lagarde to a three-member arbitration panel which awarded the compensation, causing a public outcry.

Investigators suspect he was granted a deal in return for his support of Mr Sarkozy.

Earlier this month, a French court ruled that Mr Tapie was not entitled to any compensation for that sale and should pay back the €404m with interest.