imf
IMF boss Christine Lagarde/Photo: AFP

Agency report

Christine Lagarde has told her trial Friday that she had acted in good faith in the case of a massive state payout to a tycoon when she was French finance minister.

Advertise With Us

Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was questioned about a state payout she had authorised for flamboyant businessman Bernard Tapie.

She is accused of failing to contest the payout over Tapie’s sale of the Adidas sports brand in 1993 to the Credit Lyonnais bank when he went bankrupt.

“In this case, as in all other cases, I acted according to trust and with the knowledge of the facts and my sole aim was to defend the general interest,” Lagarde told the court.

The court will give its verdict at 1400 GMT on Monday.

Lagarde, 60, said her trial at the Court of Justice of the Republic — a tribunal that hears cases against ministers accused of wrongdoing in office — had put an end to a “testing” time for her family.

“These five days of hearings represent the end of five testing years for my partner, my sons and my brothers who are in the courtroom,” she said.

If convicted, she could face a year in prison and a 15,000 euro ($16,700) fine.

The case also threatens the credibility of the International Monetary Fund, as the former high-flying corporate lawyer is the third IMF chief to face trial.

The prosecutor in the case said Thursday he was opposed to convicting her, judging the evidence to support the charge of negligence as too weak.

“The hearings have not backed up a very weak charge,” Jean-Claude Marin told the court.

The prosecutor’s office had advised against bringing the case to trial.