Marine Le Pen Loses Legal Immunity Over ISIS Images

REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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Jacob Bojesson Foreign Correspondent
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The French parliament moved to lift populist leader Marine Le Pen’s immunity from prosecution Wednesday over graphic pictures she tweeted in 2015.

Le Pen tweeted out a series of graphic images of ISIS victims — including the decapitated body of American journalist James Foley —  in response to a journalist comparing her party to the terror network. Le Pen later deleted the picture after complaints from Foley’s family.

A Paris prosecutor opened an investigation into whether or not the tweets violated a law against distribution of violent images — a crime that carries a penalty of up to three years in prison. Le Pen could not face charges as she served as a member of the European Parliament at the time.

The EU assembly voted to lift her immunity in March, but the National Front leader regained it after being elected to the French parliament in June. A 22-member committee moved to lift it again to allow prosecutors to pursue the case.

Le Pen commented on the decision by saying she only portrayed “the horrible reality of their crimes.” She further claimed that the assembly’s decision was rooted in her role as a political opponent to the establishment.

The populist veteran is currently planning a relaunch of the National Front. The party will hold a conference in early 2018 to discuss policy issues and a name change. Le Pen is reportedly ready to drop plans to exit the eurozone, which has been a longstanding cornerstone in the party’s platform.

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