Probe ordered into IMF chief in France finance affair


A French court Thursday ordered a formal judicial probe into IMF chief Christine Lagarde’s contested role in settling a financial dispute when she was France’s finance minister. Lagarde has denied exceeding her authority in the case, in which arbitrators awarded a big payout to a businessman. The court said it had ordered judges to investigate the allegations but did not immediately specify the charge.
The Court of Justice of the Republic, qualified to hear charges against ministers arising during their term in office, approved “a judicial inquiry concerning Mrs Lagarde,” presiding judge Gerard Palisse told reporters.
Lagarde’s lawyer Yves Repiquet said the inquiry was “in no way incompatible” with her new role as managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a global emergency lender. He said he expected the case to be dismissed.