A French court has decided to maintain aggravated pimping charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Wednesday’s ruling in the French city of Douai means a judicial investigation into allegations that Strauss-Kahn and associates arranged sex parties with prostitutes will continue. The case revolves around a suspected luxury prostitution ring in northern France. Strauss-Kahn, once tipped to become president or France, is under fire over sex parties with prostitutes in the so-called Carlton Affair, named after a hotel at the centre of the inquiry. Strauss-Kahn’s lawyers said their client attended “libertine” gatherings but did not know some women present were paid. The lawyers said that they would appeal against the ruling, arguing that investigating judges in the case were biased. “Dominque Strauss-Kahn’s defence team is certain that he will ultimately be cleared of these absurd accusations of pimping,” lawyer Henri Leclerc said in a statement, adding that he planned to take the matter to France’s supreme court. They argue that consorting with prostitutes is not illegal and that investigators have no arguments for pursuing him on the grounds that his behaviour could be construed as pimping, which is illegal.