Nicolas Sarkozy the former French president is to stand trial over allegations of illegal campaign spending on his failed 2012 re-election bid, prosecutors say.
Mr Sarkozy and 13 others will go to court to answer allegations that his presidential campaign spending went above the legal limit of £19.4 million.
The prosecution also alleges that Mr Sarkozy and other "protagonists" then tried to cover up the excess spending.
The claims centre on whether the 61-year-old was aware of alleged false billing and fraud linked to PR company Bygmalion, where some executives have acknowledged false accounting.
Mr Sarkozy denies any wrongdoing and is to appeal the decision.
The news comes after Mr Sarkozy's former number two is undergoing an investigation.
Francois Fillon, who is the party's candidate in the spring presidential election, is facing questions into whether well-paid political jobs he gave his wife, son and daughter were genuine.
Conservative politicians have been summoned for a meeting at Mr Fillon's headquarters to form a united front around the ex-prime minister ahead of the April-May elections.