French former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will face trial on pimping charges along with 12 others in connection with an alleged prostitution ring at a Lille hotel, the local prosecutors' office said .
The charges relate to a case, known in France as the "Carlton affair",and centres around allegations that business leaders and police officials in Lille operated a vice ring supplying girls for sex parties, some of which are said to have taken place at the city's Carlton Hotel.
DSK has not denied taking part in these sex parties, but claimed he had no idea that the women who took part were prostitutes.
News that DSK will face trial comes just over a month after prosecutors had asked a French court to drop the charges.
The public prosecutor in the northern city of Lille had called for a ‘non-lieu’, or abandonment of charges against DSK and another man, Jean-Luc Vergin, charged with “aggravated pimping in an organized gang.”
In a statement made at the time the prosecutor said: “In effect, as far as they [DSK and Vergin] are concerned, the court is of the opinion that there are not sufficient charges against them,”.
However French magistrates have took the decision this week that he must face trial though on a lesser charge of "aggravated pimping as part of a group".
French daily Le Parisien says prosecutors will not appeal against the judges' decision.
One of Strauss-Kahn's lawyers, Richard Malka, denounced the decision to go to trial as part of a "relentless" judicial campaign against his client.
He said Strauss-Kahn would appear at the trial "to denounce the absurdity and abnormality of this aggravated pimping complaint".
The Carlton case is one of a series of probes that were launched in the aftermath of Strauss-Kahn's arrest in New York.
French writer Tristane Banon accused him of trying to rape her in 2003. Investigators concluded that while there was evidence of sexual assault, the alleged attack had occurred too long ago to be prosecuted.
Strauss-Kahn was also investigated over an allegation that he had taken part in the gang rape of a Belgian prostitute. The case was dropped when she recanted and said she had consented to sex.
Earlier in June, The Local reported how Italian journalist Myrta Merlino claimed DSK sexually assaulted her in his swanky hotel suite on the fringes of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on an unspecified date in the “late 1990s.”
Earlier this month DSK divulged details of what happened that fateful night in the Sofitel New York in an interview with CNN. In the interview Strauss-Kahn slammed the "terrible treatment" he had at the hands of the US justice system and also denied he had any problem with women.