Marine Le Pen potentially faces jail over images of violent killings by Islamic State militants she posted during a spat on Twitter after MEPs voted to lift her parliamentary immunity.
The leader of France's Front National party, one of the favourites to win the country's imminent presidential election, tweeted the images during an angry argument with a jounalist who compared the party to Isis on the network.
However, the images prompted a Paris prosecutor to open an inquiry under a law in France which prevents the distribution of violent images.
He lodged a request to remove her immunity, and on Tuesday, members sitting on the European Parliament’s legal affairs committee voted by majority to waive it.
While the decision to remove the immunity has to be confirmed in session on Thursday by MEPs, it sets the stage for Le Pen to face legal action as the session is seen more as a formality.
Under French law, the maximum penalty gained by distributing violent images is up to three years in prison, along with a fine of up to €75,000 (£64,000).