MARINE LE PEN'S IMMUNITY LIFTED BY EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
French far-right leader Marine Le
Pen loses her EU immunity after tweeting images of ISIL brutality. Le Pen's
immunity has been lifted before for comparing Muslims praying in public to the
Nazi occupation of France during World War II.
The lifting of immunity allows a Paris court to prosecute her for posting three
images of brutality by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as
ISIS, on Twitter in 2015, including a photo of the decapitated corpse of
US journalist James Foley.
offence being considered is "publishing violent images," which under
certain circumstances can carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine
voted by a "big majority" on Thursday to deprive Le Pen of her
immunity in the case, acting parliament speaker Dimitrios Papadimoulis said.
immunity is intended to protect EU lawmakers against intimidation attempts.
officials said that the vote came after a request from the French
to the vote on Wednesday, Le Pen said: "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".
Philippot, a vice president of Le Pen's party the National Front (FN),
defended the Eurosceptic candidate's 2015 Twitter posts.
and naming the horror of Islamism allow us to fight against it," Philippot
told the Reuters news agency.
Pen has previously refused to attend a French police interview over the
investigation, citing her status as an MEP.
her head of cabinet has been placed under formal investigation for "the
dissemination of violent images".
French leader, locked in an increasingly tight three-way race to succeed Francois
Hollande this spring, has already seen her earnings as MEP cut for a
different case involving alleged misuse of EU funds.
has denounced the legal proceedings against her as political interference in
the campaign, where she is the leading candidate. She has called for a
moratorium on judicial investigations until the election period is
Pen is expected to win the first of the two election rounds but likely to lose
in a runoff,according to polls, which also show that her legal battles
seem to have little effect on her supporters.
Pen's immunity has been lifted before, in 2013. She was prosecuted in 2015 for
"incitement to discrimination over people's religious beliefs", for
comparing Muslims praying in public to the Nazi occupation of France during
World War II.
eventually recommended the charges be dropped.