A French court has ordered Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to face trial over her role in a pay-out of some 400 million euros ($434 million) to businessman Bernard Tapie, her lawyer said on Thursday.

The case will be heard by magistrates at the Cour de justice de la Republique – which judges ministers for crimes in office, France’s prosecutor general confirmed.

The decision came despite the prosecutor’s recommendation in September that investigations be dropped against Lagarde for alleged negligence in the affair while she was France’s finance minister.

Lagarde’s lawyer, Yves Repiquet, said he would be recommending that she appeal against the decision, which would bring her to court over an affair that dates back more than 20 years.

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