The disgraced former IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, looks likely to face trial in France for "aggravated pimping" – despite a ruling by prosecutors that the case should be dropped.
Magistrates investigating the so-called 'Carlton Affair' – allegations of hotel orgies with prostitutes in France, Belgium and the United States – have decided to overrule the state prosecutor and send Mr Strauss-Kahn for trial.
Both the prosecution and Mr Strauss-Kahn (64) can appeal the ruling. If they fail, the former French finance minister will finally face a trial for sexual misconduct after a series of failed prosecutions and out-of-court settlements in other cases.
Mr Strauss-Kahn is one of 13 people, including a senior police officer and two businessmen, who were sent for trial yesterday for "aggravated pimping as part of a group" for their alleged part in organising hotel orgies.
A more serious accusation of "conspiracy" was dropped.
Under French law, "pimping" can mean any action, paid or unpaid, which assists an act of prostitution.
One of Mr Strauss-Kahn's lawyers said her client had committed no offence.
It is unusual, but not unprecedented, for investigating magistrates to overrule the decision of the state prosecutor.
The former president Jacques Chirac was convicted in 2011 on corruption charges which the prosecutor had wanted to drop.
The investigating magistrates insisted that the trial should go ahead.