Paris — IMF chief Christine Lagarde goes on trial in France on Monday over a massive state payout to a flamboyant tycoon when she was finance minister. Lagarde denies the charges of negligence, saying she was acting "in the state’s interest" in making the payment to Bernard Tapie, former owner of sportswear group Adidas and the Olympique Marseille football club. If found guilty, Lagarde could be jailed for a year and fined €15,000. Whatever the outcome, the case could tarnish the stellar career of Lagarde, 60, a former corporate lawyer who progressed through the finance ministry to her role as one of the world’s most powerful women today. The case also threatens the credibility of the International Monetary Fund, as Lagarde is the third IMF chief to face trial. The IMF has given its full backing to Lagarde, who was given second term this February. She will be tried by the Court of Justice of the Republic, a tribunal that hears cases against ministers accused of wrongdoing in the dis...

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