A French court has decided against placing International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde under investigation over a payout made whilst she was finance minister.
The decision to make her an ‘assisted witness’ means she is no longer being charged with misuse of public funds, an allegation which jeopardised her job.
Answering reporters outside the courtroom she said: “I was able to provide information to demonstrate that I have always acted in the best interest of the state and in accordance with the law. My status of assisted witness confirms this.”
The case probes a 400-million euro arbitration payment made to a supporter of former president Nicolas Sarkozy, Bernard Tapie in 2007. Lagarde chose to use arbitration in a long-running legal battle which led to a larger payout than would have been awarded by a court. She insists it was the best solution at the time.
Our correspondant in Paris, Galina Polonskaya said:
“Christine Lagarde said that she was not surprised by the decision which was the result of two very long days. Now she is returning to the Washington to tell her colleagues at the IMF the news.”