International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde has been found guilty of financial negigence. The 60 year old financial chief was not at the Court of Justice of the Republic hearing in Paris to hear what was described as a symbolic verdict. According to reports, she has actually gone back to America, where she lives and works
Her barrister Patrick Maisonneuve pointed out that she would have preferred an acquittal. However, despite the verdict having gone against her, she will not be punished and she will not have a criminal record. The sentencing could have included up to a year in jail and a fine of up to 13,000 euros.
However, according to sources, her legal team is now looking to have the verdict overturned. IMF colleagues have offered their support throughout the hearing.
A spokesman for the body, which was set up to provide global financial stability, says officials there will be convening to talk through the potential implications of the shock guilty verdict. It may be that Ms Lagarde is asked to leave her position as a result of the court case.
If she does leave, then former British Chancellor George Osborne will be a favourite to take the job. The IMF warned against voting for Brexit at the same time that Mr Osborne was pushing his Project Fear agenda forward.
However, to consider the job, Mr Osborne would also have to consider a pay cut. While Mr Osborne was recently reported to have made more than £320,000 for making speeches at corporate events in the space of a month, the IMF chief post comes with a salary of some £300,000 annually.
Ms Lagarde was found guilty of a charge of negligence by a person in a position of public authority. The allegations surround payments to businessman Bernard Tapie when she was France’s finance minister.