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France’s Marine Le Pen acquitted in hate-speech trial after she tweeted Islamic State photographs

French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has been acquitted in her trial for posting photos of atrocities dedicated by the Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS) terrorist group, together with a picture of a US journalist’s physique.

The far-right politician was alleged to have damaged French hate-speech legal guidelines for importing three specific photographs to her Twitter account in December 2015. She denied breaking the regulation.

La Pen, the chief of France’s Nationwide Rally (beforehand Nationwide Entrance), posted the images to ridicule a journalist’s comparability of her social gathering to IS.

The pair’s alternate got here simply weeks after the 2015 Paris assaults, for which IS claimed duty, by which 130 individuals had been killed.

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One of many photographs featured the physique of James Foley, a US journalist who was beheaded by an IS fighter in 2014. Le Pen claimed she was unaware of Foley’s identification and she or he later eliminated the picture on the request of his household.

Le Pen’s Nationwide Rally colleague, MEP Gilbert Collard, who was on trial for posting an express picture, was additionally acquitted.

He had additionally responded to the French journalist’s comparability, in his case by importing an image of a person with a smashed cranium to his Fb and Twitter accounts.

The 2 politicians had been charged in 2018 with distributing “violent messages that incite terrorism or pornography or severely hurt human dignity” and that may be seen by minors. The offense is punishable by as much as three years in jail and a fantastic of €75,000 ($90,000).

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Le Pen beforehand mentioned the case impinged on free speech, whereas Collard’s lawyer Jean-Marc Descoubes branded it a “political trial.”

Her acquittal comes as Le Pen campaigns for subsequent 12 months’s presidential election, by which she is going to seemingly face-off towards the incumbent, Emmanuel Macron.

Current polling reveals Le Pen and Macron, to whom she misplaced within the 2017 election, are each projected to take 26% of the first-round vote.

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