PARIS — A French court ordered an investigation on Thursday into the role of IMF head Christine Lagarde in a huge settlement paid to a businessman friend of President Nicolas Sarkozy when she was finance minister.
The Court of Justice of the Republic, a special tribunal qualified to judge ministers, announced its decision after meeting for several hours to examine the results of a preliminary probe by a judiciary panel.
Lagarde, who replaced Dominique Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the International Monetary Fund in July, has denied any misconduct in her approval of a 285-million-euro payment to Bernard Tapie to settle a long-running legal dispute with a former state-owned bank.
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