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Marine Le Pen to go on trial in France for sharing Islamic State images on Twitter

The charges carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of €75,000.

Image: Lafargue Raphael/ABACA

FRENCH FAR-RIGHT LEADER Marine Le Pen has been ordered to stand trial in France for sharing pictures of Islamic State atrocities on Twitter. 

Le Pen, who is president of the National Rally party in France, shared images in December 2015, weeks after 130 people were killed in the Paris attacks.

She previously ran for President of France but lost out to the incumbent Emanuel Macron. 

A judge in the western Paris suburb of Nanterre ordered Le Pen to stand trial on charges of circulating “violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity” and that can be viewed by a minor.

The charges carry a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of €75,000.

Last year, an investigative magistrate called for Le Pen to undergo psychiatric tests in connection with the IS tweets.

The 50-year-old trained lawyer, whose party topped France’s vote in the recent European elections, has denounced the case as a violation of her freedom of expression.

She tweeted the images after a French journalist drew a comparison between Islamic State group and her party.

One of the pictures showed the body of James Foley, an American journalist beheaded by the Sunni extremists.

Another showed a man in an orange jumpsuit being run over by a tank, and the third a Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage.

“Daesh is this!” Le Pen wrote in a caption, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

The prospect of a trial is a further legal blow for Le Pen, who was ordered last month to reimburse the European Parliament nearly €300,000 in funds she was accused of defrauding the EU.

The parliament claimed she used funds destined for EU parliamentary assistants to pay an aide for work carried out in France.

© – AFP 2019 

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