Marine Le Pen has been acquitted of charges of inciting hatred on the December 2010 campaign trail in Lyon, France.
The charges relate to the National Front leader’s comments comparing Muslims praying in the streets to the Nazi occupation of France in World War Two.
In October Marine Le Pen told a court in Lyon she did not commit any offence.
Prosecutors said she had exercised her right to free speech and was not referring to all Muslims.
Marine Le Pen was charged in July 2014 after her immunity as a member of the European Parliament was lifted following a vote requested by French authorities.
In her 2010 speech to far-right FN supporters, broadcast by French media, Marine Le Pen said that France had initially seen “more and more veils”, then “more and more burkhas” and “after that came prayers in the streets”.
She said: “I’m sorry, but some people are very fond of talking about World War Two and about the occupation, so let’s talk about occupation, because that is what is happening here…
“There are no tanks, no soldiers, but it is still an occupation, and it weighs on people.”
The case was originally dropped last year by the Lyon court of appeal but was revived by anti-racism groups who made a civil complaint.
Praying in the streets was banned in Paris in 2011 in response to growing far-right protests.
In the same year France became the first EU state to ban public wearing of the face-covering Islamic veil (niqab).
The ruling came after Marine Le Pen’s anti-immigration FN gained a record number of votes in regional elections.
The FN led in six of the 13 regions after the first round of voting, though due to tactical voting it did not go on to win any regions in the second round.
The party received 6.8 million votes in the second round, amounting to a 27.36% share of the vote.
“Nothing can stop us now,” Marine Le Pen told supporters after the result announcement.
“By tripling our number of councilors, we will be the main opposition force in most of the regions of France.”
Marine Le Pen’s far-right Front National (National Front) has failed to win a single region in the second round of elections, exit polls indicate.
According to early, the FN has been beaten into third place, despite leading in six of 13 regions in the first round of votes a week ago.
The polls predict Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right Republicans will win most seats ahead of the ruling Socialists.
Acknowledging defeat, Marine Le Pen pledged to keep fighting.
She blamed the outcome on the mainstream parties which joined forces to keep the FN from power, telling her supporters they had been “disenfranchised in the most indecent of ways by a campaign of lies and disinformation”.
Marine Le Pen stood as a candidate in the northern region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie. Her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen was standing in Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, in the south.
After both secured more than 40% of the vote in the first round, the trailing Socialist candidates in those regions pulled out so their voters could support the Republican candidate against the FN for the second round.
One poll suggested Marine Le Pen had secured 42.5% in the second round in her region, against the centre-right’s 57.5%.
Xavier Bertrand, who is leading in Nord-Pas-de-Calais-Picardie, said the French had given “a lesson of rallying together, courage. Here we stopped the progression of the National Front.”
Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls was less upbeat. He warned the “danger posed by the far right has not gone away, far from it”.
Nicolas Sarkozy said now was the time “for in-depth debates about what worries the French”, noting security concerns, unemployment and frustration with the EU.
These elections were to vote for councils and presidents of the 13 French regions, which have wide powers over local transport, education and economic development.
French media are predicting that the Republicans have taken seven regions and the Socialists five, with nationalists winning Corsica. Official results are expected early on December 14.
The first round of voting on December 6 gave the FN the best election results in its history.
It was the first electoral test since last month’s Paris attacks claimed by ISIS, in which 130 people were killed.
In the lead-up to the first round, opinion polls suggested that the popularity of the anti-immigration, anti-EU FN had increased since the deadly attacks.
The FN had been hoping a strong performance would boost Marine Le Pen’s chances for the 2017 presidential election.
France is voting in regional elections, the first electoral test since last month’s Paris attacks, in which 130 people were killed.
According to opinion polls, there will be a strong showing for the far-right National Front (FN).
The center-right led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to win in most regions at the expense of the governing Socialist Party.
December 6 first round will be followed by a run-off on December 13.
French regions have wide powers over local transport, education and economic development.
The election is also being closely watched after opinion polls suggested the popularity of the anti-immigration, anti-EU National Front had increased since the attacks on November 13.
National Front (FN) leader Marine Le Pen is likely to win in the northern region of Nord-Pas-De-Calais-Picardie, while her niece Marion Marechal-Le Pen is a leading contender in Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur in the south.
It would be the first time the FN has captured any of France’s regions. The party is hoping a strong performance will boost Marine Le Pen’s chances for the 2017 presidential election.
Both Nicolas Sarkozy’s Les Republicains party and the FN appear to be heading for about 30% of votes, according to opinion polls, but President Francois Hollande’s Socialist Party is trailing on about 22%.
PM Manuel Valls made an “appeal to patriotism” on December 3 in an effort to rally the Socialist vote.
The election is being held under a state of emergency which was declared after the Paris attacks.
On December 4, the Belgian prosecutor’s office said police were seeking two new suspects accused of aiding the fugitive suspect from the Paris attacks Salah Abdeslam, who lived in Belgium.
They are “armed and dangerous” and are thought to have helped Salah Abdeslam travel to Hungary in September.
Investigators say Salah Abdeslam may have driven the suicide bombers at the Stade de France to their target on the night of the Paris attacks.
However, Salah Abdeslam’s precise role in the attacks remains unclear. There are suggestions he was meant to carry out a suicide attack on the night but decided against it.
Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France’s far-right National Front party, says he is “ashamed” his daughter – current party leader Marine Le Pen – still bears his surname.
Amid a growing feud, Jean-Marie Le Pen said he hoped she “would get married as quickly as possible so as to change her name”.
Jean-Marie Le Pen, 86, added he would not support his daughter in presidential elections in 2017.
His remarks came after the far-right party suspended Jean-Marie Le Pen, 86, after he repeated his view that the Holocaust was “a detail of history”.
Marine Le Pen, 46, has been trying to steer the National Front (FN) away from its racist and anti-Semitic past.
Her view is that FN’s growth is being held back by memories of what the far-right party used to be, and that to move to the next level it must cut itself free from its past.
Speaking to France’s Europe 1 radio, Jean-Marie Le Pen said: “I was hoping that the president of the National Front would get married as quickly as possible so as to change her name.
“Because I’m ashamed that she has the same surname as me.”
Asked if he would still be supporting his daughter in the presidential elections, Jean-Marie Le Pen answered: “Not for the moment.”
Jean-Marie Le Pen has been suspended but not dismissed by the party – a decision he described as a “felony”.
An extraordinary party congress is expected to be held within three months aimed at ending the function of honorary president – which Jean-Marie Le Pen has been holding since stepping down as leader in 2011.
Some commentators have suggested Jean-Marie Le Pen could be more of a risk outside the party than within it.
Jean-Marie Le Pen still holds a seat in the European Parliament and a post as a regional councilor in the south of France.
Jean-Marie Le Pen, the former leader of France’s National Front, will find out if he is to lose his post of honorary president after a series of inflammatory remarks and a protracted feud with his daughter, Marine Le Pen.
National Front President Marine Le Pen said on the eve of the far-right party’s board meeting that her father should “no longer be able to speak in the name of the National Front”.
Jean-Marie Le Pen founded the National Front (FN) in 1972 and led it until 2011.
Marine Le Pen has tried to steer the nationalist party away from its racist and anti-Semitic past.
The party’s executive was meeting on May 4 in Nanterre near Paris to decide what action to take after Jean-Marie Le Pen repeated his assertion that the Nazi gas chambers were a “detail of history”.
As well as reviving an old anti-Semitic slur, Jean-Marie Le Pen told far-right newspaper Rivarol last month that he had never considered France’s wartime collaborationist leader Philippe Petain a traitor and labeled PM Manuel Valls an immigrant.
It is unclear what penalty the FN’s disciplinary board could impose on Jean-Marie Le Pen, 86, and still a Euro parliamentarian.
Among the options is his total exclusion from the FN, although some French commentators suggested Jean-Marie Le Pen could be more of a risk outside the party than if he were contained within it.
Marine Le Pen was adamant in a broadcast interview that she wanted her father out of the political picture.
“What I wish is that the FN will no longer be taken hostage by provocations that are now becoming recurrent on the part of Jean-Marie Le Pen,” she said.
In her interview on May 3rd, Marine Le Pen said she had the feeling that her father could not bear the thought of the party continuing to carry on without him as leader.
Although Jean-Marie Le Pen was sidelined from the party’s traditional May 1st march on Friday, he took to the stage in defiance while his daughter was delivering a speech.
Last month, in the face of widespread party opposition, Jean-Marie Le Pen abandoned a plan to lead a party list in regional elections in southern France.
The FN has made significant political strides since Marine Le Pen took over the leadership from her father, attempting to sweep away its extremist image but maintaining its anti-immigration policies.
Marine Le Pen is aiming to make the run-off vote for the French presidency in 2017.
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