April 22. 2024. 7:44

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Zemmour-supporting French MEP stripped of parliamentary immunity

Radical right French MEP Nicolas Bay saw his parliamentary immunity waived in a plenary vote at the European Parliament on Thursday, following accusations by French courts of hate speech.

Bay, formerly a National Rally (Rassemblement National) MEP, joined journalist-turned-pundit Eric Zemmour’s Reconquête! movement ahead of presidential elections. Zemmour ended the race with 7.07% of the votes.

On 5 May 2021, Nicolas Bay published a video on social networks, in which he criticised the building of a mosque in Normandy. In the video, he allegedly made “assertions linking the construction of mosques to the dissemination of political Islam on French territory and the perpetration of terrorist acts”, according to the Parliament’s proposal.

“Political Islam must end […] communitarianism must be stopped,” you can hear Bay say in the video.

As a result, French courts had requested the waiver of Bay’s parliamentary immunity in May last year, with a view to conducting an investigation on “alleged incitement to hatred or violence on the grounds of origin, ethnicity, nation, race or religion, by word, text, image or electronic public communication,” the proposal reads.

The proposal further states that Bay, who had been summoned by the police in September 2021 never showed up.

“The docile majority, the servile majority […] voted to waiver my parliamentary immunity […]. We are not giving up, I will fight in French courts” he said in a video minutes after the plenary vote on Thursday.

The Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee voted in favour of the proposal on Tuesday, with 18 votes in favour and five against. In line with parliamentary processes, the file must go through a plenary for final ratification.

At the very same time, MEPs Marc Tarabella and Andrea Cozzolino, at the heart of the “Qatargate” corruption case, also had their immunity lifted.

(Theo Bourgery | EURACTIV.fr)