IMF chief charged with 'negligence' over graft case
Publish Date: Aug 28, 2014
IMF chief charged with 'negligence' over graft case
IMF chief Christine Lagarde speaks to her lawyer, Yves Repiquet in Paris, after announcing she had been charged for "negligence" over a multi-million-euro corruption case. (AFP)
  • mail
  • img

PARIS - IMF chief Christine Lagarde, one of the world's most powerful women, announced Wednesday she had been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as French finance minister.

The shock announcement came a day after she was grilled by a special court in Paris that probes cases of ministerial misconduct, the fourth time she has faced such questioning in a case that has weighed upon her powerful position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

"The investigating commission of the court of justice of the French Republic has decided to place me under formal investigation," she said in exclusive comments to AFP.

In France, being placed under formal investigation is the nearest equivalent to being charged, and happens when an examining magistrate has decided there is a case to be answered. It does not, however, always lead to a trial.

"I have instructed my lawyer to appeal this decision which I consider totally without merit.

"I return back to Washington where I will indeed brief my board."

Asked whether she intended to resign from the IMF, she responded: "No."

Christine Lagarde heads the IMF whose headquarters are in Washington, USA. (AFP)

The case relates to her handling of a 400-million-euro ($527-million) state payout to disgraced French tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008.

The payout was connected to a dispute between the businessman and partly state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais over his 1993 sale of sportswear group Adidas.

Tapie claimed Credit Lyonnais had defrauded him by intentionally undervaluing Adidas at the time of the sale and that the state, as the bank's principal shareholder, should compensate him.

Lagarde referred the dispute to a three-member arbitration panel that ruled in favour of Tapie, who is suspected of receiving favourable treatment in return for supporting ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2007 election.

"After three years of procedure the only surviving allegation is that through inattention I may have failed to block the arbitration that put an end to the long standing Tapie litigation," she told AFP.

The IMF chief has always denied any wrongdoing. After a third grilling in March, she had said she "always acted in the interest of the country and in accordance with the law."

She had until now avoided formal charges that could have forced her to quit as head of the IMF, and had instead been placed under a special witness status that forced her to come back for questioning when asked by the court.

Five people have been charged in the case, including Stephane Richard, then Lagarde's chief of staff, now boss of telecoms giant Orange.


The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Dollar holds euro gains but dips against emerging units
The dollar held its gains against the euro Tuesday as markets bet on a Federal Reserve rate hike next month, while emerging market currencies got a lift from optimism over the world's top economy....
Uchumi Supermarkets sued over 63m
A supply company has sued Uchumi Supermarkets over uncleared debt to the tune of sh63.4m. The firm, 7 Days International Limited, deals in sanitary products...
Insurers challenged to invest in micro-insurance
Ronald Zake, chairman Insurance Institute of Uganda (IIU) has challenged players in the industry to embrace micro-insurance to cater for small and medium size enterprise...
Global markets push higher after week darkened by terror
Global stock markets pushed higher Friday to end a nervous week during which investors demonstrated a feisty resilience amid a cloud of terror....
Bahati explains return of public funds
The state minister for finance in charge of planning, David Bahati has accused some accounting officers for causing delays in the release of public funds....
Dollar under pressure as Fed timetable in focus
The dollar edged down for a second day against emerging market currencies in Asia Friday as dealers focus on the pace of the expected rise in US interest rates....
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter