The president of the National Rally (RN) Marine Le Pen and the MEP RN Gilbert Collard are on trial Wednesday in Nanterre for having posted photos of Daesh abuses on social networks in 2015.
The far-right leader, a finalist in the 2017 presidential election, is being prosecuted for tweets published in December 2015, just a few weeks after the attacks claimed by ISIS in Paris and Seine-Saint-Denis. In response to journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin, whom she accused of having “drawn a parallel” between Daesh and the National Front (now RN), Marine Le Pen had relayed three photos of abuses by the jihadist group by adding the words : “Daesh, that’s it!”
The photos showed a crushed Syrian soldier alive under the tracks of a tank, a Jordanian pilot burned alive in a cage and the decapitated body of American journalist James Foley with his head resting on his back.
Collard and “the shock of sores”
Gilbert Collard, then deputy of Gard, had relayed the same day on his Facebook and Twitter accounts the photo of a man lying on the ground, the skull shattered, with this comment: “Bourdin compares the FN to Daesh: the weight of words and the shock of sores! “
More precisely, Jean-Jacques Bourdin had declared on December 16, 2015, during a program with the specialist of the Arab world Gilles Kepel: “I would like to come back to the links … uh … between Daesh and the Front … finally the links, not the direct links between Daesh and the National Front, but this identity withdrawal, which ultimately is a community … of spirit, because the idea for Daesh is to push French society to withdraw identity “.
Psychiatric expertise refused
In a France traumatized by the attacks, the publication of images of abuses had raised an outcry: the Nanterre public prosecutor’s office immediately launched separate proceedings against the two political leaders, after a report of the pictures by the Minister of the Interior.
After having had her parliamentary immunity withdrawn, as a MEP and then a Member of Parliament, Marine Le Pen was indicted in March 2018, two months after Gilbert Collard. In September 2018, an examining magistrate ordered a psychiatric expertise of Marine Le Pen, as provided for by the texts. But the politician had refused to submit to it, denouncing “totalitarian methods”.
What the defense says
“Marine Le Pen never intended, or even her conscience, to endanger any minor whatsoever. She responded to an attack, a provocation by a journalist”, declared her lawyer, Me David Dassa-Le Deist.
“It’s a political trial,” said Me Jean-Marc Descoubes, counsel for Gilbert Collard. “We must remember that at the time we were one year away from the presidential election, the context was extremely tense,” he said.
Source: A la Une – Le Progrès | Le Progrès by www.leprogres.fr.
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