World

IMF chief Lagarde named key witness in investigation of payoff to French business tycoon

  • International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde arrives for a second day of the court hearing at a special court house, in Paris, Friday, May 24, 2013.  Lagarde faced questioning at a special Paris court Friday over her role in the 400 million euro ($520 million) pay-off to a controversial businessman when she was France's finance minister. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde arrives for a second day of the court hearing at a special court house, in Paris, Friday, May 24, 2013. Lagarde faced questioning at a special Paris court Friday over her role in the 400 million euro ($520 million) pay-off to a controversial businessman when she was France's finance minister. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  (The Associated Press)

  • International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, center,  arrives for a second day of the court hearing at a special court house, in Paris, Friday, May 24, 2013.  Lagarde faced questioning at a special Paris court Friday over her role in the 400 million euro ($520 million) pay-off to a controversial businessman when she was France's finance minister. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, center, arrives for a second day of the court hearing at a special court house, in Paris, Friday, May 24, 2013. Lagarde faced questioning at a special Paris court Friday over her role in the 400 million euro ($520 million) pay-off to a controversial businessman when she was France's finance minister. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  (The Associated Press)

  • International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde arrives for a second day of the court hearing at a special court house, in Paris, Friday, May 24, 2013.  Lagarde faced questioning at a special Paris court Friday over her role in the 400 million euro ($520 million) pay-off to a controversial businessman when she was France's finance minister. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

    International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde arrives for a second day of the court hearing at a special court house, in Paris, Friday, May 24, 2013. Lagarde faced questioning at a special Paris court Friday over her role in the 400 million euro ($520 million) pay-off to a controversial businessman when she was France's finance minister. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)  (The Associated Press)

IMF chief Christine Lagarde says a Paris court has named her as a key witness in an investigation into a controversial payoff to an outspoken businessman arranged while she was France's finance minister.

The status of "assisting witness" means that Lagarde could later be charged in the case. The court assigned her the status Friday after two long days of questioning in the case.