It may have been “abused” in the case Tapie, but has never been “negligent” : the ex-minister and current director general of the IMF Christine Lagarde has defended itself foot to foot on Monday before the Court of justice of the Republic (CJR). “Have I been tricked ? We’ve been several to be abused ? If yes, by whom ? We know it can be one day, I want to know. Have I been careless ? No. “From the outset, Christine Lagarde, 60, a tailor, a dark scarf and colorful, sets the tone.
She doesn’t want to pay only for one of the largest financial scandals that took place during the presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy, arbitrage Tapie. In 2008, the business man earns more than € 400 million via an arbitration process, settle an old dispute with the former state-owned bank Credit lyonnais about the resale in the 1990s the group Adidas.
” I have acted in conscience and trust “
Minister of Economy from 2007 to 2011, Christine Lagarde has, according to the magistrates, evidence of “neglect” that allowed this “misuse” of public money : first, by abandoning the judicial route, classic for arbitration ; then, accepting without flinching an award to be disastrous for taxpayers.
The RGC has until 20 December to say if the former minister is guilty. This offense is rarely prosecuted for “negligence” is punishable by a sentence of up to one year in prison and 15,000 euros fine. This court is hybrid, composed of professional judges and members of parliament, shall decide on crimes and offences alleged against members of the government, and committed in the exercise of their functions.
” I have acted in conscience and in confidence with the sole objective of the general interest “, said the boss of the international monetary Fund, extended the upper hand in his position last summer. The Court came to evacuate a request for postponement of the trial made by his defence, and Christine Lagarde, who has suffered without missing a beat, the flashes of the photographers for long minutes at the beginning of the hearing, is now looking forward to a fight. She said that she was “deeply shocked” by the virulence of the conclusions of the magistrates, who fustigent its ” carelessness “, his “fall” and its ” lightness “.
2 million euros in lawyers ‘ fees per year
president Martine Ract Madoux ask him very specific questions on the details of the case, on the nominations of his employees in close or distant, on the choice of arbitrators. Christine Lagarde, she is described by the minister concerned with the large questions of “macro” and “international” due to the debut of a major financial crisis, the head of a department “gigantic” – in addition to Finance and the Economy, it has inherited the Job.
” The history of arbitration is not a priority ” at the time, she said. But “it’s worth exploring” this way to put an end to the legal dispute with Bernard Tapie, as sprawling – nine parallel proceedings – that expensive – € 32 million of attorneys ‘ fees per year. So far, this former lawyer, having worked in a very prestigious firm, anglo-saxon, ensures that it is “not a specialist” of these procedures are private.
” Sham “
Why does-she not aware that, in the summer of 2007, a notice of the Agency of the interests of the State, very hostile to any arbitration ? wants to know the president. It is that it receives ” 8 000 to 9 000 per year “, from all the powerful governments of Bercy, and that it is “confidence” to his staff, including his chief of staff, Stéphane Richard, to do the sorting.
Stéphane Richard, now CEO of Orange, is called to testify Wednesday, as Jean-François Rocchi, and Bernard Scemama, loaded at the time of winding a portion of the assets of the Credit lyonnais. All were under the authority of Christine Lagarde. All of them are, with others, including Bernard Tapie, indicted for having mounted a “sham” for the benefit of the business man, under the guise of arbitration.
If this criminal procedure, parallel to the proposal by Christine Lagarde, following its course, to the civil the debate is closed. The arbitration has been cancelled in 2015, ” fraud “, with the obligation to Bernard Tapie to repay.