IMF chief Christine Lagarde has been placed under formal investigation by French magistrates for her alleged role in a long-running political fraud case. Ciara Lee reports.
Under formal investigation - IMF chief Christine Lagarde. It's over her alleged role in a long-running political fraud case. Lagarde was previously questioned by magistrates in Paris as a witness. But Political Sciences professor Christian Delporte says the move doesn't mean she's guilty . (SOUNDBITE) (French) POLITICAL SCIENCES PROFESSOR CHRISTIAN DELPORTE SAYING: "There is still the presumption of innocence. But still, it adds to all the formal investigations into the right-wing and Christine Lagarde could have been an alternative for the right in 2017 and this today jeopardises her chances." Lagarde reportedly considers the decision to investigate her now for alleged "negligence" unfounded and will appeal. Pierre Briancon is from Reuters Breakingviews. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS COLUMNIST, PIERRE BRIANCON, SAYING: "It will just be like a big shadow over her remaining term. The judiciary and those types of things take a long time in France before they actually come to a verdict. So it probably won't be damaging her term at the IMF but it's bad for her reputation." The inquiry into tycoon Bernard Tapie has also embroiled several of former president Nicolas Sarkozy's cabinet members. Tapie - who supported Sarkozy in the last two elections - was awarded 403 million euros in a 2008 arbitration payment under Sarkozy's presidency. It was to settle a dispute with the now defunct, state-owned bank Credit Lyonnais. Lagarde was finance minister at the time.