The European Parliament on Thursday lifted French presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen’s immunity from prosecution for tweeting images of ISIS violence.
EU lawmakers voted to deprive National Front leader Le Pen of her immunity in the case, launched by French prosecutors in 2015 over a graphic series of images on Twitter. They included a photo of the decapitated body of US journalist James Foley.
“I think the result is clear, a big majority is in favor of the lifting of immunity,” acting parliament speaker Dimitrios Papadimoulis said.
The lifting of Le Pen’s immunity was effective immediately, European Parliament officials told AFP. The offence under certain circumstances can carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros ($78,930.00).
On Tuesday Le Pen dismissed efforts to lift her immunity as “part of the system that wants to stop the French people’s candidate that I am.”
Le Pen, who has over 830,000 Twitter followers, addressed the tweets to a French TV journalist whom she accused of likening her party to the jihadist group.
The images were tweeted with the caption “This is Daesh” (an Arabic acronym for the ISIS group) and showed Foley’s bloodied body with his decapitated head on his torso, as well as a man on fire in a cage, and a victim being driven over by a tank.
Foley, a freelance journalist, was captured in Syria in 2012 and beheaded in August 2014.
Foley’s bereaved parents John and Diane said they wanted the images removed immediately, accusing Le Pen in a statement of using the “shamefully uncensored” image for her own political ends.