La­garde keeps job, es­capes penalty af­ter con­vic­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By REUTERS in Paris

In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund chief Chris­tine La­garde es­caped pun­ish­ment and kept her job on Mon­day de­spite a con­vic­tion on neg­li­gence charges over a state pay­out made while she served as France’s fi­nance min­is­ter in 2008.

The ex­ec­u­tive board rep­re­sent­ing the IMF’s 189 mem­ber coun- tries reaf­firmed its full con­fi­dence in La­garde’s abil­ity to lead the cri­sis lender, hours af­ter the ver­dict was is­sued by a panel of judges in Paris with no fine or jail term.

La­garde told re­porters at IMF head­quar­ters that she would not ap­peal the de­ci­sion af­ter vig­or­ously fight­ing the charge since she took the IMF’s helm in 2011.

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

In Mon­day’s rul­ing, the judges did not find neg­li­gence in La­garde’s de­ci­sion to seek an out-of-court set- tle­ment with ty­coon Bernard Tapie, but they said her fail­ure to con­test the award to him of about $417 mil­lion was neg­li­gent and led to a mis­use of pub­lic funds.

Reap­pointed to a five-year term in Fe­bru­ary, La­garde, 60, said she would now “fo­cus all my at­ten­tion, all my time, all my ef­forts, all my en­ergy and en­thu­si­asm to my mis­sion as head of the IMF”.

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