Following a vote in the European Parliament, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has lost her parliamentary immunity over her tweeting of images of atrocities by the Islamic State terrorists, AFP reports.
”#BREAKING European Parliament votes to lift Le Pen immunity over IS tweets,” AFP tweeted.
French prosecutors opened an investigation in December 2015 into the graphic series of tweets by Ms Le Pen, which included a photo of the decapitated body of US reporter James Foley, according to RTE.ie.
The legal committee of the European Parliament on February 28 backed a request by the prosecutors for Le Pen`s immunity as a member of the EU`s only elected assembly to be lifted.
Ms Le Pen has so far refused to attend a police interview over the investigation by police in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, citing her status as an MEP.
Her head of cabinet has however been placed under formal investigation for ”the dissemination of violent images”.
The images were tweeted with the caption ”This is Daesh” (an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group) and showed Mr Foley`s bloodied body with his decapitated head on his torso, a man on fire in a cage, and a victim being driven over by a tank.
Mr Foley, a freelance journalist, was captured in Syria in 2012 and beheaded in August 2014.
Ms Le Pen, who has over 830,000 Twitter followers, addressed the tweets to BFM TV journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin, whom she accused of likening her party to the jihadist group.
Mr Foley`s bereaved parents John and Diane said they wanted the images removed immediately, accusing Ms Le Pen in a statement of using the ”shamefully uncensored” image to her own political ends.