IMF's Lagarde speaks of 'five-year ordeal' on last day of negligency trial

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 16, 2016 5:03 AM

PARIS (Reuters) - IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Friday told a court trying her for negligence that she had always acted in good faith and that the suspicion that she had lived under for the past five years had been an "ordeal".

Lagarde, 60, faces charges, which she denies, of being negligent when, as French finance minister, she approved in 2008 a payout to businessman Bernard Tapie in an out-of-court settlement which cost the French taxpayer 400 million euros ($425 million).

Prosecutors on Thursday said they wanted her acquitted. The special court hearing her case will hand down its verdict on Dec. 19, at 1400 GMT.

"These five days of trial put an end to a five-year ordeal," Lagarde said, her voice cracking with emotion.

(Reporting by Chine Labbe; writing by Michel Rose; editing by Richard Balmforth)