French court delays decision on Lagarde…again

The French Court of Justice has once again delayed their decision on whether to proceed with an inquiry into allegations of Lagarde’s abuse of authority when French finance minister. It concerns her approval of a settlement to Bernard Tapie, businessman and friend of Sarkozy. A decision that was submitted to a private arbitration panel, and whose ruling was not appealed despite doubts over their independence.

The new decision date is 4 August. Court official Gerard Palisse revealed that one judge had “declared himself incompetent”, requiring a replacement who would need time to familiarise himself with the case. No indication was given as to how this incompetency arose, if it was a sudden affliction or a longstanding ailment. Either way, it seems he left it to the last possible moment to declare it.

Even if courts do decide to proceed with the investigation when they next convene, the process could take years to make its way through the courts and might not even result in a trial.

Perhaps they didn’t want to distract from the other big news of the day? Yes there’s that, but also this. The IMF meets today to discuss the next loan to Greece and is expected to approve over 3 billion euros worth of assistance. Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute argues that “as a good lawyer, she should recuse herself from directly participating in an evaluation of something she was part of less than a week ago”. But maybe Lagarde will want to use this opportunity to convince us that she can indeed distance herself from the EU?

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