By Dipo Olowookere
President of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, will face trial in France on December 12, 2016, Business Post has learnt.
The trial pertains to a massive state pay-out to industrialist, Bernard Tapie when Lagarde was the Finance Minister in France.
According to reports, the 60-year-old will be tried by the Court of Justice of the Republic, a tribunal that hears cases against Ministers accused of wrongdoing in the discharge of their duties, for negligence.
Ms Largade has repeatedly protested her innocence, but if found guilty, she risks up to a year in prison and a fine of 15,000 euros ($16,850).
The trial could last until December 20.
Tapie owned Adidas between 1990 and 1993 but lost control of it after he went bankrupt. He also owned the Marseille football team.
On becoming Finance Minister in 2007, Lagarde ordered that Tapie’s long-running battle with the state be resolved by arbitration.
The decision proved hugely costly to the state, with Tapie walking away with a staggering 404 million euros ($445 million) in compensation in 2008.
Investigators suspect the arbitration process was rigged in favour of Tapie, who had supported then President Nicolas Sarkozy in his 2007 election campaign.
But the IMF boss insisted she acted in France’s best interests.
She is not accused of personally profiting from the payment to Tapie but has been criticised for failing to challenge the award.