EU lawmakers have stripped far-right French lawmaker and presidential candidate, Marine Le Pen, of parliamentary immunity after she posted graphic photos of Daesh brutality on social media.
A majority of parliamentarians voted on Thursday in favor of removing Le Pen's immunity after a request from the French judiciary. It will pave the way for the French prosecutors to take legal action against Le Pen.
Before revoking her immunity, the EU parliament had suspended Le Pen as Member of the European Parliament (MEP) over a different case involving alleged misuse of EU funds.
Le Pen, who leads her National Front party in the European legislature, is presently under investigation in France for posting three graphic images of Daesh executions on Twitter in December 2015.
The Takfiri outfit is a terrorist group operating mainly in Iraq and Syria.
A report related to the EU parliament's decision said Le Pen's postings of violent Daesh photos were seen as an action, which is not appropriate for a member of the European Parliament.
Le Pen's immunity has been lifted once before, in 2013, by the EU parliament. Back then, she was charged for "incitement to discrimination over people's religious beliefs" for comparing Muslims praying in public to the Nazi occupation of France during World War Two. In 2015, the charges against her were dropped.
By lifting Le Pen's parliamentary immunity, French prosecutors will gain the authority to summon Le Pen for judicial proceedings and possible trial.
Le Pen is accused of "publishing violent images" and could face three years in jail and a fine of 75,000 euros ($78,930) if she is found guilty.
Setting the date for a possible trial ahead of this year’s presidential election, scheduled in April and May, would require the French judiciary to go to work on the case faster than usual.
Le Pen, who has described the judiciary’s move against her as “political meddling,” requested the case be postponed till after the presidential election.
Meanwhile, polls say Le Pen is in the lead and will win the first of the two presidential election rounds, but lose in the runoff. She will reportedly lose to centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron, according to the surveys.