The European Parliament has voted to lift the immunity of French far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen over charges of inciting racial hatred.
French prosecutors want to put him on trial for comments he made about several artists.
The legal affairs committee of the European Parliament stressed that parliamentary immunity “does not allow for slandering, libelling, inciting hatred or pronouncing statements attacking a person’s honour.”
The former leader of the far-right Front National party, posted a video online in 2014 in which he made anti-Semitic remarks about
about his prominent critics, in particular referencing French Jewish singer Patrick Bruel. It led to his exclusion from the party.
It is the fourth time the 88 year-old has had his immunity lifted. In 1998, Germany made the request after Le Pen famously called Nazi gas chambers ‘a detail of history’.
Front National leader Marine Le Pen condemned her father’s comments about Patrick Bruel at the time as ‘a political error’. However, she faces a challenge to her immunity. The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz said he had received a request to end her immunity on Monday. The dossier has been handed to the legal affairs committee.