Le Pen May Face Trial For Tweeting Images Of ISIS Killings

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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An European Union committee voted to lift National Front leader Marine Le Pen’s immunity Tuesday, which means she could face charges in France for tweeting images of Islamic State killings in 2015.

Le Pen tweeted out a series of graphic images of ISIS victims — including the decapitated body of American reporter James Foley —  in response to a journalist comparing her party to the terror network. A Paris prosecutor later opened an investigation into whether or not the tweets violated a law against distribution of violent images.

MEPs enjoy immunity to protect their freedom of speech. The privilege can be removed by the parliament if MEPs act outside their role as EU lawmakers.

EU’s legal committee overwhelmingly voted to remove Le Pen’s immunity Tuesday after a request from the French prosecutor. The European Parliament is expected to back the committee’s decision when it votes on the issue Thursday.

“This only shows French citizens what the EU is, what the European Parliament is and that it’s all part of the system that wants to stop the French people’s candidate that I am,” Le Pen said Tuesday, according to AFP.

The maximum penalty for distributing violent images is three years in prison and 75,000 euros ($79,000) in fines under French law.

Le Pen is also under investigation for questionable payments to her EU staff. She refuses to cooperate with police until after the French presidential election in April, saying she’s part of “political dirty tricks.” (RELATED: Le Pen Refuses To Speak With Police Over Illegal Payments)

She holds a narrow lead in polls over independent candidate Emmanuel Macron, but she is expected to lose in the second round regardless of which candidate she faces.

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