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France

French far-right leader Le Pen to stand trial for tweeting violent photos

media Marine Le Pen, leader of France's far right National Rally Party, will be going to court for publishing violent photos REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

A French investigative judge has determined that the head of the far-right National Rally party is to face trial for publishing photos on social media of atrocities carried out by the Islamic State jihadist group (IS).

Marine Le Pen, president of the National Rally, or RN (previously National Front) posted three tweets in December 2015 with photos of a crushed Syrian soldier still alive under the tracks of a tank, a Jordanian pilot burned alive in a cage, and a picture of American journalist James Foley, his body decapitated and his head resting on his back.

Her posts came less than a month after the series of November attacks in Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis that killed 130 people, which were claimed by IS.

The three-year investigation determined that Le Pen broadcast, or “disseminated violent images” that could be seen by children a crime that carries up to three years in prison and 75,000-euro fine.

Le Pen, stripped of her parliamentary immunity in March 2018, was ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment, which she protested, calling it a “method” used in “totalitarian regimes.”

Le Pen posted the document calling for her to take a psychiatric assessment on Twitter. A new investigation was opened in Versailles because it is against French law to publish an act of court proceedings before a public hearing.

The date for the trial has not yet been fixed, and the referral cannot be appealed.

This is not the only trial Le Pen is involved in. She was indicted, along with other politicians, of embezzling public funds over allegedly fictitious jobs of European parliamentary assistants.

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