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Marine Le Pen loses EU parlimentary immunity

Marine Le Pen loses EU parlimentary immunityThe European Parliament has voted to lift the immunity from prosecution on French far-right leader Marine Le Pen.

The legislature voted by a broad majority in Brussels on Thursday to clear the way for the possible prosecution of Le Pen over her tweets of gruesome images of violence by Islamic State extremists.

Le Pen, a leading candidate in this year's French presidential election, posted them in response to a journalist who drew an analogy between her anti-immigration National Front party and IS extremists.

The European Parliament vote confirmed a preliminary decision taken on Tuesday by the legal affairs committee of the European Union legislature.

Le Pen was trying to show the difference between the two groups but the effort backfired, drawing widespread condemnation. The French interior minister accused her of fomenting Islamic State propaganda.

Le Pen, in addition to being the leader of France's far-right National Front party, is also a lawmaker with the European Parliament.

However, the latest decision only lifts her immunity in this particular case and will not cover a separate investigation into whether her party, the National Front (FN), misused European Parliament funds.

Le Pen has refused to attend a police interview over the latter allegations. She denies wrongdoing and claims that they are a plot to derail her campaign.
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