- Right Wing National Front leader tweeted picture of ISIS beheading James Foley
- Charges came after complaints including from the parents of the US journalist
- She tweeted picture ‘This Is Daesh’, the Arabic name for ISIS
after her party was accused of being the equivalent
- Messages sent to journalist whom she accused of likening her party to jihadis
The 49-year-old leader of France’s Right Wing National Front has denied any wrongdoing, but now faces trial in the Paris suburb of Nanterre.
Beyond the three-years in prison, prosecutors can also demand a maximum fine equivalent to £67,000.
John and Diane Foley accused Ms Le Pen of using the ‘shamefully uncensored’ photos for her own political ends.
In a joint statement they said: ‘We are deeply disturbed by the unsolicited use of Jim for Le Pen’s political gain and hope that the picture of our son, along with the two other graphic photographs, are taken down immediately.’
Ms Le Pen tweeted the decapitation photo under the caption ‘This is Daesh’ along with another of a man on fire in a cage, and a victim being crushed by a tank.
She addressed the tweets to BFM TV journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin, whom she accused of likening her party to the jihadist group.
Manuel Valls, France’s Prime Minister at the time, described the photos as ‘monstrous’, adding that Ms Le Pen had shown ‘political and moral failing’ and her ‘non-respect for victims’.
It was Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve who went to the police in 2015, saying the tweets should be investigated ‘as they do every time these kind of photos are published’.
He said the photos are ‘Daesh propaganda and are a disgrace, an abomination and an absolute insult to all victims of Daesh’.
Ms Le Pen was reacting to comments by Bourdin, who said there were ‘links’ between the National Front National and ISIS.
At the time, Claude Hermant, a former National Front bodyguard, was in custody in France after being accused of supplying the guns to Amedy Coulibaly, an ISIS linked terrorist who murdered five people, including four Jews, in Paris in January 2011.
Faced with outrage against France, Ms Le Pen later deleted the tweets, but the row did not stop her standing to become President of France in 2017.
In elections held last Spring, she was runner up Emmanuel Macron, the current centrist head of state.