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IMF Board Affirms Support For Lagarde After Negligence Ruling

IMF chief Christine Lagarde (center) in a Paris courtroom on December 12

The International Monetary Fund's executive board has affirmed its confidence in Managing Director Christine Lagarde despite her conviction on December 19 of negligence in a case dating to her tenure as France's finance minister.

Several hours after the verdict was issued, the board said it "looks forward to continuing to work with [Lagarde] to address the difficult challenges facing the global economy."

In announcing the ruling in Paris, the Court of Justice of the Republic decided not to punish Lagarde, noting that "the context of the global financial crisis in which Madame Lagarde found herself in should be taken into account."

The case revolved around a 403 million euro ($425 million) arbitration deal given to tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008 over the botched sale of sportswear maker Adidas in the 1990s.

Lagarde said afterward that she is still "not satisfied" with the court's decision, but she will not appeal it and will focus her attention on carrying out her "mission" at the IMF.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and dpa