French court orders Le Pen to submit to psychiatric evaluation

Marine Le Pen furious after being ordered to undergo psychiatric tests

French judges have ordered far-fight politician Marine Le Pen to undergo psychiatric tests as part of a criminal case that could see her imprisoned for up to three years.

The exam will determine if Le Pen "is capable of understanding remarks and answering questions", the website The Local reported.

On Thursday, she tweeted copies of a court order requiring her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Le Pen, though, may see an opportunity to score political points with her base. "For denouncing the horrors of [ISIS] by tweets the "justice system" has referred me for a psychiatric assessment".

"It's insane", fumed Le Pen, herself a trained lawyer.

Speaking to reporters in the halls of the National Assembly, Le Pen said she felt "persecuted" by the state and would defy the order.

Le Pen, who lost the presidential election to Emmanuel Macron in last year's vote, shared the tweets in December 2015, several weeks after ISIL members killed 130 people in attacks in Paris.

But it doesn't look like Le Pen will be making an appointment with any psychiatrists.

Le Pen took to Twitter on Thursday, to say: 'I thought I had been through it all: well, no! "Just how far will they go?" she said in another tweet, using the Arabic acronym for Isil.

Le Pen was placed under formal investigation in March on suspicion of disseminating violent images.

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Le Pen, who leads the former National Front Party and now called the National Rally, expressed her outrage on Twitter. Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said in a statement.

Le Pen and her party have been targeted by a series of other judicial probes, including over the alleged misuse of European Union funds.

"A prosecutor has ordered psychiatric tests on Marine Le Pen. She is a political personality but this is not a political decision".

The images showed the bodies of people who were executed by the Islamic State and included the decapitated body of USA reporter James Foley.

Another photo showed a man in an orange jumpsuit being run over by a tank, and a third showed a Jordanian military pilot being burned alive in a cage.

If convicted, she could face up to three years in prison or a €75,000 fine.

Le Pen later deleted the picture of Foley after a request from his family, saying she had been unaware of his identity.

Since then she has been attempting to rebuild, and the party has been rebranded as National Rally in part to try to distance it from the taint of racism.



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