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French Court to Rule on Lagarde in July

France's Financial Minister Christine Lagarde, left, shakes hands with Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank during the African Development Bank annual meeting in Lisbon, June 10, 2011.

A French court has delayed until July 8 a decision on whether to open a formal inquiry into claims that Finance Minister and International Monetary Fund (IMF) candidate Christine Lagarde abused her power.

The delay means the allegations will hang over Lagarde's bid to be the new IMF chief.

Lagarde says she did nothing wrong in a 2008 legal settlement that favored a French businessman, who was also a friend of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The IMF is expected to announce the candidates for its top post by June 17 and select its next managing director by June 30.

Lagarde would replace another French national - Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned in May over charges of sexual assault.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.