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, according to Reuters.
The executive board representing the IMF`s 189 member countries 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, Reuters reports.
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.
In Monday`s ruling, the judges did not find negligence in Lagarde`s decision to seek an out-of-court settlement with tycoon Bernard Tapie, but they said her failure to contest the award to him of about EUR 400 million was negligent and led to a misuse of public funds.
The lead judge on the case, Martine Ract Madoux, explained the absence of any sentence by citing Lagarde`s preoccupation with the 2008-09 financial crisis that was raging at the time of the payout as well as her strong international reputation. The charge could have carried a maximum one-year prison sentence.
Reappointed to a five-year term in February, Lagarde said on Monday that 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.”