Macron’s ex-bodyguard goes on trial over May Day assaults | Emmanuel Macron News

Macron’s ex-bodyguard goes on trial over May Day assaults | Emmanuel Macron News

Alexandre Benalla, 30, dangers as much as seven years in jail and 100,000 euros ($118,000) in fines if discovered responsible.

A former safety aide to President Emmanuel Macron who triggered a political disaster when he was recognized as having overwhelmed up a protester throughout a 2018 May Day demonstration went on trial on Monday on a dozen costs, together with voluntary violence, illegally sporting a police badge and carrying a weapon.

Alexandre Benalla, 30, dangers as much as seven years in jail and 100,000 euros ($118,000) in fines if discovered responsible.

Benalla’s actions, and the way in which Macron’s workplace clumsily dealt with them, triggered the French chief’s first critical presidential disaster and discredited his efforts to wash up politics.

At the guts of the controversy was Benalla’s murky function on the presidential Elysee Palace — the place a police safety contingent is charged with defending the president — and whether or not Macron’s presidency had a hidden facet with Benalla a essential participant.

Intense media protection and a televised parliamentary inquiry that put prime Elysee officers, usually invisible to the general public, at centre stage turned the Benalla affair into political cleaning soap opera peppered with intrigue.

A bevy of questions included why the aide stepped into the function of a police officer within the May Day confrontation as actual officers stood by watching. Benalla was on the demonstration as an observer.

Among different mysteries that emerged was why Benalla held two diplomatic passports after being dismissed from his ill-defined job on the presidential palace, used for journey to African international locations.

He advised a Senate committee that he thought he was allowed to make use of them, however had made a mistake.

Benalla advised a Senate inquiry in September 2018 that a lot of his function had concerned liaising between Macron’s political workplace and the official safety physique charged with defending the president, referred to as GSPR and made up of top-level gendarmes and senior law enforcement officials.

“I am not a thug,” he stated.

‘It was war’

An preliminary investigation was opened when a photograph confirmed Benalla with a gun at his hip whereas serving as a safety aide for Macron throughout his presidential marketing campaign in 2017.

It is for illegally carrying a firearm that Benalla dangers seven years in jail if discovered responsible.

Alexandre Benalla, a former safety adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, arrives on the primary day of his trial for violence dedicated in opposition to demonstrators at a May Day protest in 2018, within the court docket in Paris, France, September 13, 2021 [Benoit Tessier/Reuters]

Benalla is being tried with three different individuals, two of them law enforcement officials who shared with him video-surveillance photos exhibiting him dealing blows to a demonstrator. The tip-off is a violation {of professional} secrets and techniques.

Hundreds of violent demonstrators had invaded the standard May 1 march by unions when Benalla moved into motion in a small Left Bank sq..

“It was war,” Benalla advised investigators, insisting that as an observer he had no intention of appearing violently however intervened as a result of it was his obligation as a citizen.

Benalla was initially given a 15-day suspension from his job earlier than returning and heading safety for the France workforce’s victory parade down the Champs-Elysees Avenue on Bastille Day after successful the world championship.

He was positioned beneath investigation later in July and, amid public outcry, fired from his job on the presidential palace.

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