International Monetary Fund backs chief Christine Lagarde ahead of looming negligence trial

James Nickerson
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Christine Lagarde And Jim Yong Kim Address IMF-World Bank Group Annual Meetings
Lagarde denies any wrongdoing (Source: Getty)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has backed its chief ahead of her negligence trial for which she denies any wrongdoing.

Lagarde is battling charges of negligence over a €405m (£339m) payment to French businessmen Bernard Tapie while she was the French finance minister.

While the IMF also denies any wrongdoing, she could face jail time if she is found guilty.

Read more: Christine Lagarde must face Bernard Tapie payout trial

Lagarde is accused of improperly signing off on the decision to allow an extremely rare out-of-court arbitration between Tapie and the state - Tapie had sued the state for compensation after selling his stake in Adidas to now-defunct bank Credit Lyonnais in 1993.

Tapie claimed Credit Lyonnais, a state-owned lender, tricked him into selling his stake in Adidas for below market value in the early 1990s. He said Crédit Lyonnais was guilty of undervaluing his stake in Adidas.

Read more: Lagarde under investigation by French court

The final settlement is alleged to have been rigged because of Tapie's support of then-president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The IMF has said that it still has confidence in Lagarde's "ability to effectively carry out her duties", according to the Sunday Times.

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