The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has backed managing director Christine Lagarde's continuing leadership after she was found guilty of negligence in public office, according to reports.
The Financial Times writes that the board of the IMF had backed Lagarde's (pictured) continuing leadership within hours of a French tribunal, which ruled her handling of a multimillion-euro dispute during her time as France's finance minister nearly a decade ago was negligent.
In a statement, the executive board said it continued to have "full confidence in the managing director's ability to continue to effectively carry out her duties", putting to bed concerns the ruling would end her tenure as leader of the international organisation.
The IMF said: "The executive board looks forward to continuing to work with the managing director to address the difficult challenges facing the global economy."
Additionally, Olivier Blanchard, the IMF's former chief economist, said the ruling was unfair.
Speaking to the Financial Times, he said: "She is one of the most scrupulous people I have ever worked with, so any notion that she might have gone along with a deal she thought was legally wrong should be rejected."
Largarde will not face a fine or a prison term despite the court arguing that she should have done more to overturn a €285m payout to a businessman in an arbitration case in the 1993 sale of Adidas AG.
The court said Lagarde should have appealed the payout, which occured at the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis.
Her lawyer said the verdict would not enter into her judicial record and claimed it as a "half victory".
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