Marine Le Pen Says She's Defying Order for Psychological Evaluation

Marine Le Pen furious after being ordered to undergo psychiatric tests

Marine Le Pen furious after being ordered to undergo psychiatric tests

If convicted, Le Pen faces up to three years in prison and a fine of €75,000.

Le Pen - who lost to Emmanuel Macron in last year's presidential election - called the move "crazy" in a series of tweets on Thursday.

Italy's Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said in a statement: "A court orders a psychiatric assessment for Marine Le Pen".

Le Pen, who has said the case against her is a violation of her freedom of expression, claims the government of France is employing the tactics of defamation that totalitarian regimes use to discredit political opponents in an attempt "to make them look insane".

Le Pen posted the pictures a few weeks after the Paris terror attacks in 2015. For having condemned Daesh (IS) horrors in tweets, the "justice system" is putting me through psychiatric tests!

Le Pen, who is head of the former National Front party - now National Rally (Rassemblement National) revealed on Twitter her shock and anger at being ordered to undertake a psychiatric assessment.

She then said it was all part government plot to discredit her, even though there is a strict separation of powers between the executive and judiciary in France.

According to the document posted by Ms Le Pen, the judge wants the tests to determine if she suffers mental illness or is "capable of understanding remarks and answering questions".

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"Daesh is this!", she wrote in a caption at the time.

Responding to the news of the order on Thursday, her far-left rival Jean-Luc Melenchon tweeted that the evaluation was unnecessary because Le Pen was "politically responsible for her political acts".

The 2017 presidential candidate denounced the order as "mind-blowing", saying: "This regime is really starting to scare [us]".

She had used her Twitter account to post Islamic State torture pictures, including ones of the decapitated body of American journalist James Foley.

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

A number of politicians have lambasted the judges' decision towards Le Pen. "Words fail me! Solidarity with her and with the French who love freedom!"

Experts have told the French media that expert psychiatric tests are run of the mill for people charged with these kind of offences and have not specifically been ordered for Le Pen.

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

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