A French judge ordered the leader of the nationalist anti-migration party National Rally (National Front) to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, RFI news agency reported on Thursday, September 20.
The court ruled that Marine Le Pen had to undergo a psychiatric evaluation to determine the level of her responsibility for the publication of obscenely violent images of Islamic State violence on her Twitter account, posted in December 2015.
One of the images was of the American journalist James Foley’s beheading; she later deleted the Tweet at the request of his family.
Specifically, the court wants to know “as soon as possible” whether the 50-year old Le Pen is capable of “understanding remarks and answering questions.”
The images were posted only weeks following the Paris attacks in November when 130 Parisians were killed.
Le Pen later explained that she published the images after a journalist compared her party with the Islamic State.
At the time, the nationalist leader was stripped of her parliamentary immunity and charged with circulating messages that “incite terrorism or pornography or seriously harm human dignity.”
On Thursday, Le Pen Tweeted the court order – dated September 11, 2018 – and denounced the French judicial system as a “frightening regime” that is colluding with the government to discredit her. She insists that her freedom of expression is being violated.
If found psychologically fit to be convicted, Le Pen faces a fine of €75,000 and up to three years in prison.