Marine Le Pen Placed Under Formal Investigation for Tweets of ISIS Beheadings

Hannah Rogers
March 4, 2018

Marine Le Pen, France's far-right National Front (FN) political party leader, tweeted brutal images of Islamic State violence.

Prosecutors announced on Thursday that Le Pen had been charged over the tweets she sent in December 2015. The other images were of a man in an orange jumpsuit being run over by a tank and a man being burned alive in a cage.

Marine Le Pen, who dropped the Front National brand during her failed presidential bid previous year, will ask members to agree to replace the name, which insiders say puts off potential voters and is an obstacle to alliances with other groups.

"Daesh is this!" Le Pen wrote in a caption, using an Arabic acronym for Isis, in response to a TV journalist drawing a comparison between the extremists and the French far right.

If the investigation proceeds to a trial, Le Pen could face a maximum sentence of several years in jail and a 75,000 euro fine if convicted.

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"I am being charged for having condemned the horrors of Daesh", Le Pen told AFP.

The charge against the far right-wing leader was filed on Thursday near Paris.

Le Pen didn't comment publicly on the charges, made possible after the French parliament lifted her immunity from prosecution in the case. She later deleted the photo of Foley after a request from the journalist's family.

The announcement of this investigation comes on the same day her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, publishes the first book of his memoirs. She had denounced an earlier stage of the investigation as "political interference".

Other ongoing investigations, including one into allegations her party misused European Union funds to pay parliamentary assistants and another into the financing of past election campaigns, have not dented her appeal among the National Front faithful. "...for those who really like to talk about the second world war, if we're talking about occupation, we can also talk about this while we're at it, because this is an occupation of territory".

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