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IPFS News Link • France

Marine Le Pen is acquitted by French court after being accused...


Marine Le Pen was today acquitted of breaching hate speech laws after posting images of ISIS atrocities on Twitter.

The right-wing leader posted the three photos in 2015, one of which included the decapitated body of US journalist James Foley, after her National Rally party was compared to the jihadists by a TV interviewer.

Le Pen, 52, said she tweeted the images to highlight the absurdity of the comparison and had denied any wrongdoing, calling the trial politically motivated. 

Her lawyers welcomed today's acquittal, saying that freedom of speech had been protected. 

In 2018 a judge charged her, as well as her party colleague Gilbert Collard 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.

The crime is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of £65,000, but the prosecution sought only a £4,300 fine.

The court acquitted both Le Pen and Collard on Tuesday, citing the right to freedom of expression.

The court recognised Le Pen's intention to inform by sharing the images and said doing so can contribute to public debate, as long as violence is not normalised.