French politician Marine Le Pen was acquitted by a court on Tuesday. She was accused of breaking hate speech laws after she posted photos of Daesh* terrorists killing people back in 2015, while slamming comparisons between her party (then known as the National Front) and the notorious jihadist group in French media.
"This is what Daesh is", she wrote under the photos, responding to journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin, who made such a comparison.
The politician was accused of "disseminating violent messages that could seriously harm human dignity", but she denied any wrongdoing. Following the court's decision, her defence lawyers noted that the freedom of expression had been safeguarded.
The court ruling comes ahead of the 2022 French presidential election, which is likely to see a standoff between Le Pen and incumbent President Emmanuel Macron.
*Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other states