Speaking to reporters in the halls of the National Assembly, Le Pen said she felt “persecuted” by the state and would defy the order.
‘I won’t go!’
“Of course I won’t go and submit myself to this psychiatric evaluation,” she declared, daring the investigating magistrate to “force” her.
Under French law there is no legal mechanism for forcing a person to comply with such an order.
The prosecutor’s office in the Paris suburb of Nanterre, where the court is located, said such tests were routine in cases involving the dissemination of violent messages.
But there were howls of indignation from Le Pen’s supporters and allies nonetheless.
Italy’s powerful far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini tweeted his sympathy for Le Pen, along with a photograph of himself and the Frenchwoman greeting each other, their arms outstretched and faces wreathed in smiles.
“A prosecutor has ordered psychiatric tests on Marine Le Pen. There are no words. Solidarity with her and those French people who love liberty,” wrote Salvini, whose League party is in an alliance with Le Pen’s faction.