Marine Le Pen may lose parliamentary immunity

Comment comparing Muslim prayers in Paris streets to Germany occupation during WWII might cost president of France’s National Front party parliamentary immunity.

By JOSEPH STRICH
June 3, 2013 05:15
1 minute read.
MARINE LE PEN.

MARINE LE PEN 370. (photo credit: Charles Platiau/Reuters)

 
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In 2010, Marine Le Pen, president of France’s National Front party, compared Muslim prayers in the streets of Paris to the occupation of her country by Germany during World War II. Now, this comparison may cost the European Parliament member her parliamentary immunity.

The European Parliament’s legal committee is expected to make a decision on June 11. A decision to strip her immunity would then have to be presented for a vote by the full European Parliament, a step that would be a mere formality, before being signed into law, according to the BBC.

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Behind this dramatic development is Christiane Taubira, the French justice minister, who lodged a complaint against Le Pen for “racial hatred incitement” after she made the comparison to the Nazi occupation.

Originally from French Guiana in South America, Taubira was an outspoken, radical left-wing activist who battled against slavery and campaigned for the independence of her territory, before President François Hollande gave her the Justice portfolio after his electoral victory in May 2012. More recently, she promoted the gay-marriage bill that recently went into effect.

Separately, police imprisoned on Saturday the man who allegedly supplied Mohammed Merah – the terrorist who in March 2012 killed three soldiers and four Jews in southwest France – with at least two weapons, among them the Uzi machine gun he used in the attacks. Fetha Malki, 30, was a friend of the killer and is the third man to be charged in relation to the attacks.

Abdelkader Merah, Mohammed’s brother, and Mohamed Mounir Meskine, who helped Merah steal the scooter he used in the attacks, have also been arrested.

This latest arrest of Malki may prove to be “an important step” in the investigation of the Merah affair, according to a police source.

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