Head of the IMF Christine Lagarde in court charged with embezzlement and fraud
The head of the International Monetary Fund arrived in the dock of a Paris courtroom today as she braced herself to be formally charged with embezzlement and fraud.
Christine Lagarde’s humiliation is not only a massive personal blow which could lead to her resignation, but one which will plunge the world’s banking system into further ignominy.
The clearly nervous 57-year-old said nothing to reporters as she entered the Court of Justice of the Republic, a special tribunal set up to judge the conduct of France’s government ministers, shortly after 8.30am.
Lagarde faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail if found guilty of the very serious charges.
It was when she was President Nicolas Sarkozy’s finance minister that she is said to have authorised a 270 million pounds payout to one of his prominent supporters, so abusing her government position.
The money went to Bernard Tapie, a convicted football match fixer and tax dodger who supported Lagarde and Sarkozy’s UMP party.