Marine Le Pen loses immunity over IS tweets

Indo Asian News Service

Brussels, March 2 (IANS) The European Parliament has revoked French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen's immunity for tweeting pictures of violence by Islamic State (IS) terror group.

Le Pen, a member of the EU Parliament, is under investigation in France for posting three images of executions by IS in 2015, including the beheading of American journalist James Foley, BBC reported.

French law prohibits the distribution of violent images or incitement of terrorism and the maximum penalty for distributing violent images is three years in prison and a fine of up to $79,000 (€75,000).

Announcing the result of the vote on whether to lift the immunity, Parliamentary President Antonio Tajani said a "clear majority" of members backed the motion.

As an MEP, Le Pen, leader of the National Front (FN), enjoys immunity which covers freedom of speech -- but that immunity can be lifted if a request is made by the authorities of a member state.

The lifting of her immunity relates to this case only and will not cover a separate investigation into whether her party misused European Parliament funds, the BBC report said.

Le Pen has refused to attend a police interview over the funds misuse allegations. She denies wrongdoing and claims that they are a plot to derail her campaign.

--IANS

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