French far-right leader Marine Le Pen is refusing to undergo a court-ordered psychiatric exam for tweeting brutal images of Islamic State violence, comparing the demand to methods used in totalitarian regimes.
Two hours later, the former French presidential candidate posted a copy of a court document online, in which a judge inquired whether psychological disorders were responsible for why she chose to post graphic tweets several years ago.
The investigation is one of a series that have distracted Le Pen's National Rally, formerly known as the National Front, as it seeks to rebuild after her loss to President Emmanuel Macron in the second round of an election a year ago.
"I thought I had a right to everything: but, no!" "For denouncing the horrors of [ISIS] by tweets the "justice system" has referred me for a psychiatric assessment. How far will they go?!" she said on Thursday. "This regime is really starting to worry me", suggesting that the case was part of a government plot to discredit her. She slammed the order as a "mind-blowing".
Who is marine Le Pen? The charges stem from Le Pen's decision to post the images, including a photo of decapitated United States journalist James Foley, after the Paris terror attacks in November 2015.
Itself, marine Le Pen said that she was sent to a psychiatrist because she condemned the actions of terrorists.
One of the pictures showed the body of James Foley, whom the extremists beheaded in August 2014.
The unusual summoning is in relation to Le Pen having tweeted out gruesome propaganda images from terror group Isis that showed the bodies of people having been executed by the so-called Islamic State. "Solidarity with her and those French people who love liberty", wrote Salvini, whose League party is in an alliance with Le Pen's faction.
She told reporters she would skip the test.
Her father Jean-Marie Le Pen, who founded the National Front before being pushed out by his daughter as she sought to marginalise his more inflammatory style, came to her support.
She later deleted the picture of Foley after a request from his family, saying she had been unaware of his identity, but she has denounced the case against her as a violation of her freedom of expression.
If convicted, the politician faces a maximum punishment of a €75,000 fine and up to three years in prison.