Sunday, 19 August, 2018

Le Pen Faces Vote in European Parliament on Waiver of Immunity

Le Pen Faces Vote in European Parliament on Waiver of Immunity Le Pen Faces Vote in European Parliament on Waiver of Immunity
Melinda Barton | 05 March, 2017, 00:31

Responding to a request from the French judiciary, MEPs in the legal affairs committee of the European legislature "overwhelmingly" voted to lift her immunity after she posted three photos of beheadings, including that of United States journalist James Foley, on Twitter in 2015.

After negative reactions, Le Pen deleted a graphic photo of the death of US journalist James Foley but refused to delete the two remaining images.

Later, a French prosecutor opened an investigation into Le Pen, requesting the revocation of her parliamentary immunity.

Responding to the vote on Wednesday, Le Pen said: "This only shows French citizens what the EU is, what the European parliament is and that it's all part of the system that wants to stop the French people's candidate that I am".

"Look at the jobs that Donald Trump has brought back to America", Le Pen said. A trial date ahead of the election in April and May would require the French legal process to go much faster than it normally does.

While the photos shared on Twitter sought to express rejection to the EI, in response to a journalist who compared the FN with that terrorist group, the prosecution made a decision to open an investigation for 'dissemination of violent images.' By losing immunity, the ultra-right wing presidential candidate could get a sentence of up to three years in prison.

Le Pen has already seen her earnings as MEP cut for a different case involving alleged misuse of European Union funds.

Polls say Le Pen will win the first of the two election rounds but lose in the runoff. They also show that her legal battles seem to have little effect on her supporters.

Members of the EU's legal affairs committee voted to lift Le Pen's immunity earlier this week, and the decision has now been ratified by the full parliament.

She reportedly posted the images during a row with a French journalist who compared her political party, the Front National, to jihadis.

Le Pen's move was seen as not appropriate for a member of the European Parliament, the report said.