Marine Le Pen cleared of incitement to hatred charges

French court acquits National Front Leader over comments on Muslim street prayers

 National Front leader Marine Le Pen  in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

National Front leader Marine Le Pen in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

 

Marine Le Pen has been cleared of charges of incitement to hatred after comments she made five years ago comparing Muslim street prayers to a foreign occupation.

A French court acquitted the far-right leader, as the prosecutor had requested, according to a lawyer involved in the case.

The ruling came two days after Ms Le Pen’s anti-immigration National Front party gained a record number of votes in regional elections.

Complaint

Four anti-racism associations had filed a complaint after Ms Le Pen said in a 2010 political meeting that Muslim street prayers could be compared to the Nazi occupation of France.

If convicted, Ms Le Pen faced up to a year in prison.

Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, has been convicted several times of the same charge - but never imprisoned.

PA