IMF chief awaits verdict in French payout case

Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund's managing director, is awaiting the verdict of a special French court for alleged "serious negligence" over a huge payout to a business magnate while she served as France's finance minister.

The Court of Justice of the Republic is to deliver its verdict later Monday after a week-long trial. The court handles cases involving ministers.

Lagarde has maintained her innocence, and the prosecutor has asked for an acquittal.

The case revolves 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. The amount prompted indignation.

Civil courts have since quashed the unusually generous award, declared the arbitration process and deal fraudulent and ordered Tapie to pay the money back.