French Far-right Leader Le Pen On Trial Over IS Tweets
Paris, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 10th Feb, 2021 ) :French far-right leader Marine Le Pen goes on trial Wednesday on charges she broke hate speech laws by tweeting pictures of Islamic State atrocities, a case she has slammed as a violation of free speech.
The trial comes as opinion polls show Le Pen will likely face off again against Emmanuel Macron in next year's presidential contest, after her National Rally made its strongest showing ever in the 2017 vote.
Le Pen shared the gruesome images in December 2015, a few weeks after Islamic State group militants killed 130 people in attacks in Paris, in response to a journalist who drew a comparison between IS and her party.
One of the pictures showed the body of James Foley, an American journalist beheaded by the Islamist militants.
"Daesh is this!" Le Pen wrote in a caption, using an Arabic acronym for IS.
In 2018 a judge charged her as well as Gilbert Collard, a National Rally colleague who also tweeted the pictures, with circulating "violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity" and that can be viewed by a minor.
A trial was ordered last year but was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Le Pen, a lawyer by training, has said she is the victim of a political witch-hunt -- she refused an order to undergo psychiatric tests as part of the inquiry.
She was also stripped of her parliamentary immunity over the pictures.
He accused prosecutors of "discrimination" by "deforming the spirit and the letter of the law... to limit Mrs Le Pen's freedom of speech."Since taking over France's main far-right party from her father, Le Pen has run twice for the French presidency, and recent polling shows her closer than ever to her ultimate prize.
That has rekindled speculation about whether the anti-EU, anti-immigration populist could finally enter the Elysee Palace.