IMF chief not charged in fraud case

The Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) has not pressed criminal charges against International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde after days of investigation into a corruption case, Press TV reports.

Lagarde walked out of the court after two days of court hearings looking into her involvement in fraud and misappropriation of public funds.

The French court was probing Lagardeâ„¢s handling of a dispute in 2007 that resulted in a 400 million-euro (USD 515 million) payment to former politician and controversial business figure, Bernard Tapie.

On Friday, the former finance minister was given the status Å“assisting witness”. This means she will be regarded as a witness in future related questioning.

The IMF chief was Franceâ„¢s finance minister under the government of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Reports indicate Sarkozy had promised Tapie benefits if he agreed to become a major funder in his 2007 presidential election campaign.

Some say the court’s decision is an unfair one.

Å“Christine Lagardeâ„¢s behavior in this affair is unacceptable, because she allowed one of Franceâ„¢s biggest businessmen to bypass traditional public justice and gave him a private arbitration… her decision greatly favored Mr. Tapie,” Copernic Fondationâ„¢s Pierre Khalfa said.

In 2007, Lagarde asked a panel of judges to arbitrate in a row between Tapie and the partly state-owned Credit Lyonnais over his sale of sports group Adidas in 1993.

She has been accused of Å“numerous anomalies and irregularities.”

The criminal charges are regarded as the second straight scandal for an IMF chief since Lagarde succeeded Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who quitted over allegations of an assault on a hotel maid in New York.

SZH/HGH

This article originally appeared on: Press TV