Thursday, 15 November, 2018

French far right leader Marine Le Pen ordered to have psychiatric testing

Head of a French far-right party Marine Le Pen speaks as the party members backed changing the name of per party the National Front to Rassemblement National in Bron France Marine Le Pen furious after being ordered to undergo psychiatric tests
Patty Aguilar | 21 September, 2018, 09:18

The French far-right leader Marine Le Pen has refused to undergo court-ordered psychiatric tests for posting pictures on social media of Islamic State atrocities.

Two hours later, the former French presidential candidate posted a copy of a court document online, in which a judge inquired whether psychological disorders were responsible for why she chose to post graphic tweets several years ago.

Le Pen said she originally tweeted the images after a journalist compared her National Rally party, then called the National Front, to the Islamic State.

"I thought I had been through it all: well, no!" she wrote. For having condemned [Islamic State] horrors in tweets, the "justice system" is putting me through psychiatric tests! "How far will they go?!" she wrote.

"Of course I won't go and submit myself to this psychiatric evaluation", she declared, daring the investigating magistrate to "force" her. The charges stem from Le Pen's decision to post the images, including a photo of decapitated United States journalist James Foley, after the Paris terror attacks in November 2015. "This regime is really starting to be frightening", she tweeted, suggesting that the case was part of a government plot to discredit her.

Among the list of concerns were whether Le Pen is "in a unsafe state from the standpoint of psychiatry or forensic science". Le Pen and her party have been the subject of a number of investigations, including over the misuse of European Union funds. "She is a political personality but this is not a political decision".

If convicted, Marine Le Pen faces up to three years in jail and a fine of €75,000 ($87,000).

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She voiced outrage on Thursday at a court order demanding she undergo psychiatric evaluation in the case.

One of the pictures showed the body of James Foley, whom the extremists beheaded in August 2014.

But it doesn't look like Le Pen will be making an appointment with any psychiatrists.

The other images showed a tank running over a man in an orange jumpsuit, while another jumpsuit-clad man was shown in a cage being burned alive.

She posted the images in response to a journalist who drew comparisons between the militant group and her party.

Leader of France's Rassemblement National (RN) far-right political party Marine Le Pen gestures as she delivers a speech at a meeting in Fréjus, southern France on September 16, 2018.

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