French prosecutors seek to have Le Pen stripped of immunity

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Officials want the European Parliament to strip National Front leader of MEP's immunity with a view to pursuing her over a remark about Muslims.

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Prosecutors in the French city of Lyon have requested that the European Parliament strip National Front leader Marine Le Pen of her immunity with a view to pursuing her over a remark about Muslims, according to French justice sources, reports Europe Online.

Justice ministry spokesman Olivier Pedro-Jose confirmed to dpa that the ministry had forwarded a request for the lifting of Le Pen‘s immunity to the parliament‘s president Martin Schulz on November 26.

Pedro-Jose said the request was formulated by the prosecutor‘s office in Lyon and referred further questions to the office. The prosecutors were not immediately available for comment.

A spokesman for the Strasbourg-based parliament confirmed to dpa that Schulz had received the request and said it had been forwarded to the parliament‘s legal committee to be examined.

Le Pen has been a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) since 2004.

Lifting the legal immunity of an MEP, so that he or she can be brought to trial, requires a vote in parliament.

In 1998, the parliament voted to revoke the immunity of Le Pen‘s father, National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, over his declaration that the Holocaust was a "detail" of history. A German court later convicted him of minimizing the Holocaust.