French far-right leader acquitted of breaking hate speech laws

Marine Le Pen posted three images showing ISIS atrocities to Twitter in 2015.

Elad Benari ,

Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen
Reuters

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen was acquitted on Tuesday of breaking hate speech laws in late 2015 when she posted images of Islamic State (ISIS) atrocities on Twitter, Reuters reports.

Le Pen displayed the three images, including one of the decapitated body of American journalist James Foley, after a prominent television interviewer compared her party to the jihadist organization.

She had previously said she tweeted the images to highlight the absurdity of the comparison and had denied any wrongdoing, calling the trial politically motivated.

Le Pen's defense lawyers said after the hearing that freedom of expression had been safeguarded.

Le Pen was stripped of her parliamentary immunity over the pictures and charged with circulating violent messages that can be viewed by minors.

In 2018, she was ordered to undergo psychiatric tests for tweeting the pictures.

Prosecutors had sought a fine of 5,000 euros, far below the maximum sentence of three years in jail or a 75,000 euro penalty.



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