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Payout: Court Finds IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Guilty

By Dipo Olowookere

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms Christine Lagarde, has been found guilty by a French court of negligence in the approval of an award of €404m to a controversial French business tycoon, Mr Bernard Tapie, for the sale of a firm.

Though Ms Lagarde told the court on Friday that she had always acted in good faith, but the judges were not convinced enough.

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However, the court did not hand down any punishment to the IMF chief, but held that she allowed the misuse of public funds.

Reacting to the ruling, Ms Lagarde, 60, said she was satisfied with the judgement, but would not appeal against it, pointing out that she would rather “move on and continue to work” with those trust her.

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“I have been held negligent, but without penalty, without sanction, without registration of the decision.

“I’m not satisfied with it, but there’s a point in time when one has to just stop, turn the page, and move on and continue to work with those who have put their trust in me.”

“So I’m very happy to not appeal this decision, and to focus all my attention, all my time, all my efforts, to my mission as head of the IMF,” Ms Lagarde said at a press briefing on Monday.

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Ms Lagarde was France’s Minister of Finance in 2008, when the payment was approved to Mr Tapei.

She has been the IMF boss since July 5, 2011 and reappointed in February 2016 for another five-year term.

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Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan.

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