IMF's Lagarde found guilty in French tycoon payout trial

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Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde reacts before the start of her trial about a state payout in 2008 to a French businessman, at the courts in Paris, France, December 12, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Platiau (Copyright Reuters 2016)

French judges on Monday found IMF chief Christine Lagarde guilty of negligence for failing to challenge a 400 million euro ($417 million) state arbitration payout to a business tycoon in 2008 when she was French finance minister.

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Despite the ruling the judges did not hand down any sentence in the case on her decision to allow the rare out-of-court arbitration payment. She has denied the negligence charges.

Her lawyer said immediately after the ruling that his team would look into appealing the decision.

The ruling risks triggering a new leadership crisis at the International Monetary Fund after Lagarde's predecessor Dominique Strauss Khan resigned in 2011 over a sex assault scandal.

(Reporting by Chine Labbe; writing by Leigh Thomas; editing by Andrew Callus)