French authorities have filed preliminary charges against Marine Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigrant National Front party, for the “distribution of violent images” on Twitter.
If convicted, Le Pen could face up to three years in prison and 75,000 euros ($90,000) in fines.
The tweets, posted shortly after the November 2015 Paris attacks which killed 130 people, showed brutal executions carried out by ISIS members. These included graphic photos of the body of American journalist James Foley, a captured Jordanian pilot being burned alive in a cage and a man in an orange jump suit being crushed by a tank driven by an ISIS fighter.
French authorities began an investigation into her posts shortly after, but as a member of French parliament, Le Pen had some immunity from prosecution. In November 2017, however, a cross-party committee stripped her of that immunity.
Le Pen, who lost the May 2017 French election to pro-Europe centrist Emmanuel Macron, denied any wrongdoing. “I am being charged for having condemned the horrors of Daesh,” she told the Associated Free Press. “In other countries, this would have earned me a medal.”