- Title: Lagarde trial only fifth in history of French special court
- Date: 12th December 2016
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (DECEMBER 12, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF PALAIS DE JUSTICE VARIOUS OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE COURT WORD FROM FRANCE'S MOTTO ENGRAVED ON COURTHOUSE FACADE (French): "LIBERTY" VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF COURTHOUSE PEOPLE QUEUING OUTSIDE COURTHOUSE POLICE WALKING IN HALLWAY OF COURTHOUSE VARIOUS OF EXTERIORS OF COURTROOM WHERE TRIAL WILL TAKE PLACE SIGN ON DOOR FOR INDICATING FRENCH SPECIAL COURT (French): "COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE REPUBLIC" EXTERIOR OF COURTROOM WHERE TRIAL WILL TAKE PLACE VARIOUS OF LAWYER ON PHONE WALKING IN HALLWAY COURTROOM WHERE TRIAL WILL TAKE PLACE / HALLWAY
- Embargoed: 27th December 2016 11:39
- Keywords: France Christine Lagarde International Monetary Fund Bernard Tapie negligence payout Cour de Justice de la Republique
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Reuters ID: LVA0015CKUTDZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde will face a court hearing on Monday (December 12) about a state payout in 2008 to French businessman, Bernard Tapie.
The trial will be only be the fifth in the history of the Cour de Justice de la Republique, a special court that tries ministers for crimes in office. It is made up of three judges and six lawmakers from both the lower and upper houses of parliament.
Lagarde was set to stand over her role in a 400 million euro ($428 million) payment to Tapie when she was France's finance minister in the government of former conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy.
Lagarde is accused of negligence leading to misuse of public funds by improperly approving a decision to allow an out-of-court arbitration in the dispute with Sarkozy supporter Tapie.
She could face up to a year in jail and a fine of 15,000 euros if convicted. A guilty verdict would also risk plunging the IMF, which she took over in 2011 after her predecessor Dominique Strauss-Kahn quit amid a sex scandal, into a new leadership crisis.
The Cour de Justice de la Republique was created in 1993, when then French Prime Minister Laurent Fabius' government was accused of having knowingly allowed doctors to give haemophiliacs blood transfusions that contained the HIV virus in what was known as the "infected blood scandal".
The court itself has been subject to some criticism as regards its impartiality due to the presence of parliamentarians who make up part of the panel of judges.
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