IMF chief Lagarde convicted, but not punished

French judges have found IMF chief Christine Lagarde guilty of negligence for failing to challenge a 400 million euro state arbitration payout to a business tycoon in 2008 when she was French finance minister. Rosanna Philpott reports.

PARIS, FRANCE (Reuters) – Christine Lagarde, guilty of negligence

The judges’ verdict in France.

They say the International Monetary Fund chief should have challenged a 400 million euro payout to French business tycoon Bernard Tapie

That was back in 2008, when she was serving as France’s finance minister.

No sign of a sentence yet though – the main judge cited that year’s global financial crisis and Lagarde’s good reputation

And at the trial, no sign of Lagarde

She left France for Washington before it ended.

Lagarde maintains her innocence and her lawyers say they will appeal.

Giving evidence in court last week she said she had acted in good faith.

But the ruling is bad news for Lagarde’s career – and threatens a new leadership crisis at the IMF who will meet shortly to consider the implications

This after Lagarde’s predecessor Dominique Strauss Khan resigned in 2011 over a sex assault scandal.