The President of the National Marine Front Le Pen, January 15, 2018
The President of the National Front Marine Le Pen was indicted Thursday by a judge of Nanterre for the release in December 2015 of photos of atrocities of the Islamic State Jihadist group on Twitter.
Ms. Le Pen was indicted for „dissemination of violent images,“ told AFP the floor of Nanterre. In January, Gilbert Gilbert’s relative FN Gilbert Gardard was indicted for the same reason.
„I am indicted for denouncing the horror of Daech (Arabic acronym of IS, ed) In other countries it would be worth me a medal“, reacted with AFP the leader of the ‚far right. „Political persecution does not even have the limit of decency anymore,“ she said.
The facts date from December 16, 2015, in a France traumatized by jihadist attacks in Paris and Saint-Denis on November 13th. Marine Le Pen then tweeted photos of abuses by the IS, in response to journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin she accused of having „drawn a parallel“ between the IS and the FN.
Referring to an „unacceptable skid“ and „foul words“, Ms. Le Pen had posted on his account three photos mentioning the animator of BFMTV-RMC with the text „Daech it’s that!“.
The photos showed a crushed Syrian soldier living 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.
Gilbert Collard had meanwhile released the photo of a man lying on the ground, his head smashed, with this comment: „Bourdin compares the FN to Daech: the weight of words and the shock of sores!“
A few weeks after the worst attacks ever committed in France (130 dead, hundreds wounded), these publications had immediately raised an uproar within the political class but also beyond.
Nanterre prosecutors had launched the same day an investigation for „dissemination of violent images“ following a report of clichés by then Minister of the Interior, Bernard Cazeneuve, to the direction of the judicial police. Two separate judicial inquiries were then opened, one on Ms. Le Pen and the other Mr. Collard.
– Immunities raised –
The remarks that sparked the ire of Marine Le Pen dated from a show, the morning of December 16, of Mr. Bourdin, who interviewed the specialist of the Arab world Gilles Kepel.
The journalist had said: „Let’s go back to Daesh, I would like to come back to the links … er … between Daesh and the Front … the links, not the direct links between Daesh and the National Front, but this withdrawal of identity. , which ultimately is a community … of spirit, because the idea for Daech is to push the French society to the withdrawal of identity. “
After Ms. Le Pen’s tweets, Mr. Bourdin had disputed that he had said „that the FN was like Daesh“ and judged the reaction of the party „hysterical“.
The next day, Ms. Le Pen removed one of the photos after an indignant statement from James Foley’s parents, „deeply shocked“.
In the proceedings against Ms. Le Pen and Mr. Collard, the court relies on Article 227-24 of the Penal Code, which punishes the dissemination of „a message of a violent nature, inciting terrorism, pornographic or likely to seriously undermine human dignity „when this message is“ likely to be seen or perceived by a minor „.
This offense is punishable by 3 years imprisonment and 75,000 euros fine.
In this context, the European Parliament lifted the parliamentary immunity of Ms Le Pen, then MEP, on 2 March 2017. The latter having been elected in June to the French Parliament, it enjoyed a new immunity but it was lifted in November by the office of the National Assembly.
Shortly before that, on September 27, the same office lifted the immunity of Mr. Collard, MP Rassemblement Bleu Marine (RBM) since 2012.
The boss of the FN, 49 years, is also indicted since late June 2017 in the case of European parliamentary assistants for „breach of trust“ and „complicity of breach of trust.“