Marine Le Pen loses EU parliament immunity over tweets

Le Pen, who leads her National Front party in the European legislature, is under investigation in France for posting three graphic images of Islamic State executions on

Twitter in December 2015, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley.

Le Pen’s immunity shielded her from prosecution. By lifting it, after a request from the French judiciary, the parliament is allowing any eventual legal action against her.

The move grants the prosecutor looking into the affair power to bring Le Pen in for police questioning.

In the next steps, the prosecutor could drop the case, appoint an investigating magistrate to delve further into it, or send it straight to trial. A trial date ahead of the election in April and

May would require the French legal process to go much faster than it normally does.

The offence being considered is “publishing violent images”, which under certain circumstances can carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros

($78,930).

She has denounced the legal proceedings against her as political interference in the campaign and called for a moratorium on judicial investigations until the election period has

passed.

Le Pen has already seen her earnings as MEP cut for a different case involving alleged misuse of EU funds.

Polls say Le Pen will win the first of the two election rounds but lose in the runoff. They also show that her legal battles seem to have little effect on her supporters.

The vote on Thursday by a large show of hands in the plenary of the EU Parliament confirmed a preliminary decision taken on Tuesday by the legal affairs committee of the EU

legislature.

Source: Angola Press News Agency