French anti-mass migration presidential candidate Marine Le Pen faces a loss of her parliamentary immunity and an investigation over tweets she posted of Islamic State violence in 2015.
As anti-mass migration Front National leader Marine Le Pen continues to climb in the polls against her rivals, the European Union (EU) is pushing for her lose her parliamentary immunity. The request to remove her immunity revolved around several tweets made by Ms. Le Pen in 2015 in which she posted pictures of Islamic State violence, Reuters reports.
The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly in favour of lifting Le Pen’s parliamentary immunity Tuesday afternoon. The tweets posted by Le Pen showed graphic images of Islamic State atrocities including the beheading of American journalist James Foley who was killed by British national Mohammad Emwazi, also known as “Jihadi John.”
The EU legal affairs committee was approached by the French judiciary who requested the lifting of the immunity. Though the request was approved, another vote will be taken by the entire EU parliament to finalise the motion.
If the immunity is fully revoked, Le Pen could face a fine of €75,000 and up to three years in prison for “publishing violent images”.
Vice president of Le Pen’s Front National party Florian Philippot defended Le Pen saying: “Showing and naming the horror of Islamism allows us to fight against it.”
The charges would not be the first to interfere with Le Pen’s presidential campaign as the EU has also alleged that she paid two staffers EU funds for “fake jobs”. Police raided the headquarters of the Front National in February while Le Pen was travelling to Lebanon where she made headlines for refusing to wear an Islamic headscarf when visiting one of the top Islamic figures in the country.
The party have denounced the interference and the police raid saying: “This is obviously a media operation whose sole purpose is to attempt to disrupt the smooth running of the presidential election campaign and to try to harm Marine Le Pen at the very moment when her candidacy has made a major breakthrough in voting intentions, especially for the second round.”
Due to her rise in second round polls, some European politicians have sounded alarm bells over a potential Le Pen presidency. Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta said a France under Le Pen could mean “game over” for the entire EU project.
Le Pen announced earlier this month she would campaign to take France out of the bloc saying it was time to “build another Europe, whether Madame Merkel, monsieur Schulz or the other Commissioners want it or not”.
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