Marine Le Pen 'to stand trial for tweeting violent images of terrorism'

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By Lauren Chadwick  with AFP
Marine Le Pen 'to stand trial for tweeting violent images of terrorism'
Copyright  REUTERS/Charles Platiau

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has been ordered to appear in front of a court over tweeting pictures of killings by the so-called Islamic State, reported AFP citing a judicial source.

She published the propaganda pictures in December 2015 responding to a journalist she accused of drawing a parallel between her-then party, National Front, and IS.

The photos included a Jordanian pilot being burned to death in a cage and the decapitated body of American journalist James Foley.

Le Pen, now the leader of France's far-right National Rally party, appeared to confirm the news on Twitter, re-tweeting the story and calling it a "shameful pursuit against those who denounce" the terrorist group.

She wrote on Twitter that it said, "a lot about the state of political and moral decay of our ruling 'elites'" who welcome "jihadis and their families with open arms", appearing to critique the French government's announcement on June 10 that 12 children of French jihadis were repatriated from Syria to France.

The offence for tweeting the photos in 2015 is punishable by three years in prison and a €75,000 fine according to the French Penal Code.

Last year, Le Pen tweeted that she had refused to submit to psychiatric tests called for in connection with the case which was brought forward by prosecutors last year.

Le Pen's lawyer, David Dassa-Le Deist, told AFP that the law in question, which prevents people from spreading violent, terrorist, or pornographic content, was being used to "summon" Le Pen and limit her "freedom of expression".

The French National Assembly and European Parliament both waived her immunity status as a Parliamentary deputy in 2017 in relation to the case.