IMF board voices confidence in Lagarde

The International Monetary Fund's executive board on Tuesday reiterated confidence in managing director Christine Lagarde after she was grilled for two days in a French court over the 2008 Tapie scandal.

"As we have said before, it would not be appropriate to comment on a case that has been and is currently before the French judiciary," the board said in a statement.

"However, the executive board has been briefed on this matter, including on the outcome of the recent hearings before the Court of Justice of the Republic in Paris, and has reaffirmed its confidence in the Managing Director's ability to effectively carry out her duties."

Lagarde was interviewed by the court on Thursday and Friday as judges sought to determine whether to prosecute her over a 400 million euro ($517 million) state payout to controversial businessman Bernard Tapie decided when she was finance minister five years ago.

At the conclusion, the court declined to place her under formal charges, which could have challenged her ability to continue leading the IMF.

But she was nevertheless not completely freed from the threat of prosecution, as the court kept her tied to the case as an "assisted witness," akin to a material witness.