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International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde arrives in court on Monday.

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The head of the International Monetary Fund appeared in a Paris court Monday for the opening of her trial over alleged negligence during her time as France’s finance minister nearly a decade ago.

Lagarde appeared before France’s Court of Justice of the Republic for the first day of hearings, the BBC reported. The court handles cases related to alleged misconduct by government officials.

The negligence charge dates back to her oversight of a case in 2008, when she was finance minister in the government of then-President Nicolas Sarkozy, as The Two-Way has reported:

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“The case involved businessman and Sarkozy supporter Bernard Tapie and the sale of his stake in Adidas. Tapie claimed that the partly-state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais ‘had defrauded him by deliberately undervaluing the company.’

“Lagarde, then the finance minister, referred the matter to an arbitration panel, which decided in Tapie’s favor, awarding him $527 million [more than 400 million euros].”

As NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris, “Lagarde, who is accused of succumbing to political pressure, says she may have been unknowingly negligent, but did nothing wrong and did her job as best she could at the time.”

Last year, according to The Wall Street Journal, “a Paris court ordered Mr. Tapie to repay the damages on the grounds that a judge in his arbitration case wasn’t impartial.”

The Journal continued:

“A conviction could place both Ms. Lagarde and the IMF in a bind. In July, the fund renewed her as managing director. In France, the charge of negligence by a public official that results in a third party misappropriating or purloining state assets is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to €15,000….”

Ms. Lagarde’s legal team intends to file a motion to stay the proceedings on the grounds that the alleged misappropriation of assets is still subject to a separate investigation.

If judges allow the trial to proceed, Ms. Lagarde is expected to testify and a ruling is due in seven days.”A conviction wouldn’t necessarily mean the IMF would have to eject Ms. Lagarde from her post … ‘The Executive Board has been briefed on recent developments related to this matter, and continues to express its confidence in the managing director’s ability to effectively carry out her duties,’ IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said.”

The thing is  if she wasn’t a crook they wouldst have her as the head of the organisation. Why would a little thing like being a convicted criminal stand in the way of the president of the IMF?

IMF’s Christine Lagarde: ‘When The World Goes Downhill, We Thrive’

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As the transcript from a April 2012 interview given by Lagarde to the Wharton school at UPenn, none other than IMF president Lagarde herself admitted that for the IMF to “thrive”, the world has to “goes downhill“, and that the IMF “to be sustainable” it needs to be “very in touch with our client base.”

She added that “when the world goes well and we’ve had years of growth, as was the case back in 2006 and 2007, the IMF doesn’t do so well both financially and otherwise

No other financial organization has affected the lives of the majority of the world’s population more profoundly over the past fifty years than the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Since its inception after World War II, it has expanded its sphere of influence to the remotest corners of the earth. Its membership currently includes 188 countries on five continents.

For decades, the IMF has been active mainly in Africa, Asia and South America. There is hardly a country on these continents where its policies have not been carried out in close cooperation with the respective national governments. When the global financial crisis broke out in 2007, the IMF turned its attention to northern Europe. Since the onset of the Euro crisis in 2009, its primary focus has shifted to southern Europe.

Officially, the IMF’s main task consists in stabilizing the global financial system and helping out troubled countries in times of crisis. In reality, its operations are more reminiscent of warring armies. Wherever it intervenes, it undermines the sovereignty of states by forcing them to implement measures that are rejected by the majority of the population, thus leaving behind a broad trail of economic and social devastation. 

Pillaging the World. The History and Politics of the IMF

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IMF & World Bank are weapons of war , by John Pilger