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French finance minister Christine Lagarde is hotly tipped to replace Dominique Strauss-Kahn, arrested in New York last weekend on sex assault charges, as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Mediapart has exclusively obtained a copy of a confidential report (pictured) by the French national audit office, the Court of Accounts, which we publish here and which could potentially scupper her candidacy to become IMF chief. It throws deep suspicion on Lagarde's role, already the object of legal moves for suspected "abuse of authority", in a massive out-of-court settlement of 403 million euros of public funds awarded to controversial French tycoon Bernard Tapie in 2008. Laurent Mauduit reports.
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