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French far-right leader Marine Le Pen charged over IS photos

PARIS — French prosecutors filed preliminary charges Thursday against Marine Le Pen for tweeting brutal images of Islamic State violence.

The prosecutor’s office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre said the charges were issued for ‘‘distribution of violent images.’’ If the case eventually reaches trial and she’s convicted, Le Pen could face up to three years in prison and a $90,000 fine.

Le Pen’s December 2015 tweets showed executions by Islamic State extremists, including the killing of American reporter James Foley. She posted them in the wake of the November 2015 Islamic State attacks on Paris, accusing the government of not doing enough to protect France.


Le Pen told BFM television Thursday: ‘‘It’s clearly aimed at silencing me. Yet I will not be silenced.”

She said she would consider a potential conviction as a ‘‘medal of patriotism and defense of the French people.’’

The preliminary charges were made possible after Parliament lifted her immunity from prosecution in the case late last year.

Lawyer Rodolphe Bosselut, representing Le Pen in the case, confirmed the charges but wouldn’t comment.

It’s one of multiple legal cases targeting Le Pen or the National Front.

In one high-profile investigation, she and the party have to respond to charges over the misuse of European funds. She denies wrongdoing.