Former International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be tried in a French court on charges of aggravated pimping.
The decision comes despite recommendations by prosecutors that the charges be dropped.
The case hinges around sex parties at a hotel in the French city of Lille that the 64-year-old admitted to attending.
However, he says he did not know that the women who participated were prostitutes.
Under French law, "pimping" can encompass aiding or encouraging the act of prostitution.
The case has put Strauss-Kahn back in the spotlight after his arrest in New York in May 2011 following allegations by a hotel maid that he had sexually assaulted her.
He resigned as IMF chief before those charges were dropped.
Before that case, he had been widely seen as a contender for the French presidency.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters