Monday, December 19, 2016

Affaire Tapie : Christine Lagarde “guilty of negligence”, but exempt from punishment – The Obs

Christine Lagarde is doing at a lower cost. The Court of Justice of the Republic has delivered a clever balance Monday, December 19, recognizing “guilty of negligence” the former minister of the Economy on one point – just one – of the file relating to the arbitration found in favour of Bernard Tapie. But it has provided a penalty, asking that it is not the criminal record. The hand stitched.

Christine Lagarde was liable to one year imprisonment and 15,000 euros fine.

“The national and international reputation” of the director-general of the international monetary Fund “must be taken into account,” said the Court.

A way not to jeopardize its position at the head of the international institution after the resignation sword of her predecessor, Dominique Strauss-Kahn on may 19, 2011. The IMF, which has hitherto always sustained, said on Monday that it would convene “soon”.

Christine Lagarde has dried up the hearing. Invoking a telephone appointment of the highest importance with the chinese president Xi Jinping on Monday morning, she had returned to Washington on Sunday, his lawyers have informed the Court of his absence.

“neglect of duty”

Composed of 15 judges (three top professional judges and 12 members of parliament), the RGC has returned in the strings the general prosecutor’s office. Its main representative, Jean-Claude Marin, the most ardent of the former minister since the beginning of this case, had required the acquittal, considering that the allegations against it fell within the “political fault” and not the fault of the criminal.

The Court, to be sovereign, judged otherwise. Recalling the principle of the separation of powers, political and judicial, it noted a “failure to perform duties” of the minister, as a person agent of the public authority, and that the “political responsibility” was “to separate the personal action”.

this is A sentence “shocking”

Tracing the line of defense of Christine Lagarde, the Court of Justice of the Republic (CJR) recalled that it had said last week at the bar, “not to have acted in accordance with instructions from the president of the Republic (Nicolas Sarkozy, editor’s NOTE), or the Prime minister (François Fillon, editor’s NOTE)”, and it was taking “full responsibility” for his decision.

it was time to go forward with the arbitration process, costly to the taxpayer because the spouse Tapie pocketed $ 403 million, of which € 45 million in moral damages, and to refrain from bringing an action for annulment against an arbitral award as “shocking”, according to the Court, in respect of the latter amount.

On the choice of the arbitration, committed on the bodies pressing of Bernard Tapie, even before his arrival at Bercy, on June 19, 2007, the Court ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to that Christine Lagarde is found guilty of the offence. Top it all, she has always said that she had acted in the interests of settling a dispute old of 15 years and be costly in legal fees.

in this regard, the hearing has, in the course of the day, demonstrated the preponderant role played by Gilles August, the paris firm August Debouzy, in the case of arbitration, for which he received $ 4 million of fees. Because of its proximity with Maurice Lantourne, the lawyer Bernard Tapie and Stéphane Richard, the former director of the cabinet of Christine Lagarde, of which he was the witness of marriage, has raised the general prosecutor Jean-Claude Marin.

The role of “disturbing” a lawyer

The lawyers of Christine Lagarde, for one Bernard Grelon, stressed the role of “disturbing” the other Patrick Maissonneuse the”ubiquity” of Gilles August. Lawyer of the Consortium of Realization (CdR), the body created to manage the distressed assets of Credit Lyonnais, the latter takes, from the beginning of 2007, an ascendant factor in this folder, to the detriment of the lawyer’s history Jean-Pierre Martel, hostile to arbitration. Which led to him being questioned under the status of witness assisted by the co-investigating judges in the non-departmental this case, open for organised fraud and the misappropriation of public funds and aiding and abetting. In this folder, Bernard Tapie, Stéphane Richard, Maurice Lantourne, the arbitrator Pierre Estoup, and two senior officials are indicted.

On the non-annulment of the arbitration, the RGC notes that “Ms. Lagarde, a lawyer by profession”, should have been “particularly concerned about the protection of the financial interests of the State”.

Especially after having taken knowledge of the issuance of the arbitration award allocating 45 million euros are non-taxable to the husband Lurking in the title of the moral prejudice. Also deciding not to bring an action for annulment, Christine Lagarde was “negligent”.

The judges criticize him for not having asked explanations to its services, nor from his cabinet, and will be provided to solicit the opinion of the legal service of Bercy as well as the Agency of the Interests of the State, a body responsible for the management of State assets placed under its guardianship. Hence the “very serious” for the public finances, ” observes the CJR, which noted that the Court of Auditors, in its time, had made a strong criticism of the conditions in which this case has been handled.

“The exercise of any such remedy would have enabled the Cor to conduct a negotiation with the opposing party” with all the more chances of success, that a few days before that the former minister waives, Bernard Tapie had proposed to give up to 70 million euros as a condition sine qua non for a waiver of this cancellation.

It is also faulted the former minister had not studied the arbitral award. At the hearing, it had stated will be soaring to a summit of the franco-Russian with documents that she had called “a packet” Saint-Petersburg, relating to the case, which does not contain the famous sentence.

Finally, the fact of recourse to Me Patrice Spinosi, a lawyer known to the Court of cassation, for an informed opinion, was “not of a nature to correct the imbalance of information”, since it had been approached by mr. Gilles August, a supporter of arbitration as the first time.


The Court also refuted the arguments of the lawyers of Christine Lagarde, according to which their client could not be found even though the folder for “diversion of public funds” is in the statement. For the 15 judges, the “occult” including the compromise of arbitration has made mention of a moral damage for the benefit of the spouses Tapie in a second version not having been submitted to its services and the “conspiracies” revealed by the ongoing investigation, as well as the amount “exorbitant” amount awarded for moral prejudice demonstrate the “fraudulent nature” of arbitration “even if its “accountability” is not fully demonstrated.

The Court finally notes that this arbitration controversial was annulled by the Paris Court of Appeal on February 17, 2015. It led to the recognition of Christine Lagarde guilty, but without the sanction.

Denis Demonpion


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