French extreme-right leader Marine Le Pen could face trial for comparing the country’s Muslim community to the Nazi occupation
- MEPs have begun process of stripping the far-right leader of legal immunity
- French prosecutors want to charge her with inciting racial hatred
- Her father was in 1998 stripped of immunity to face holocaust denial charge
By Ian Sparks http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2345010/French-extreme-right-leader-Marine-Le-Pen-face-trial-comparing-countrys-Muslim-community-Nazi-occupation.html#ixzz2XA2UfWy8
French extreme right-wing leader Marine Le Pen faces potential prosecution for branding Muslims in France as ‘like a Nazi occupation’.
The National Front chief risks being put on trial after members of the European Parliament’s judicial committee in Brussels voted to lift her legal immunity as an MEP.
Ms Le Pen sparked uproar among in France after a speech at a party rally in December 2012 when she denounced Muslims praying in the street in areas where there are no mosques.
Stripped of legal immunity: French National Front leader Marine Le Pen could now face trial for inciting racial hatred after comparing the country’s Muslim community to the Nazi occupation
France has a population of around five million Muslims, the highest of any European country.
Le Pen told supporters: ‘For those who like to talk about World War II, to talk about occupation, we could talk about, for once, the occupation of our territory.
‘There are no armoured vehicles, no soldiers, but it is an occupation all the same and it weighs on people.’
French prosecutors asked the EU last November to lift the her immunity as a lawmaker so she could be prosecuted for inciting racial hatred.
The European Parliament’s legal committee voted overwhelmingly yesterday that Le Pen could be charged and the full parliament is now expected to formally lift her protection in the coming weeks.
British Tory MEP and legal affairs committee member Sajjad Karim said: ‘There is a red line between freedom of speech and inciting racial hatred.
‘I, along with many other MEPs, today voted to drop Ms Le Pen’s immunity and I am confident that the majority of the European Parliament will follow our lead in July.’
A woman wears a burqa as she walks on a street in Saint-Denis, near Paris in 2010: France has a population of around five million Muslims, the highest of any European country
Le Pen, 47, is renowned for her outspoken views on immigration – but is also riding on a wave of popular support and would come second in another presidential election.
Last year she tried to prosecute pop star Madonna for screening an image of her with a Swastika on her head at a Paris concert.
She also recently had a news photographer banned from taking any more pictures of her – because he makes her look ‘ugly’.
Her father and former National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen was stripped of his legal protection as an MEP to face charges of holocaust denial in 1998.