Alexandre Benella, former security adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, with his lawyer Jacqueline Lafont, arrives at the courthouse in Paris, France, Sept., on the first day of trial for violence against protesters at the 2018 May Day protests. 13, 2021. (Benot Tessier/Reuters)
PARIS: Emmanuel Macron, a former security adviser to the French president, arrived on Monday in a Paris court to stand trial for harassing May Day protesters in 2018, sparking the first major political crisis of Macron’s mandate.
Macron and his Elysee Palace team were sharply criticized at the time for not sacking Alexandre Benla immediately. He was fired six weeks later when a video of the incident surfaced.
Macron was accused of being too slow to deal with a member of his inner circle.
Macron denied the allegations, saying Elysee had not sought to protect Benalla.
The video shows Benala getting into a scuffle with protesters during a police-led crowd control operation. While allowed as an observer, he ended up participating in the operation wearing police-marked clothes. He has admitted to “making a mistake” but said he just wanted to help the police and that he had not done anything illegal.
Benalla, 30, is also accused of illegally possessing and using diplomatic passports. He told a Senate committee that he thought he was allowed to use them, but made a mistake.
Benalla revealed in a Senate investigation in September 2018 that much of his role involved liaison between Macron’s political office and the official security body charged with protecting the president, known as the GSPR, and top Level gender and made up of senior police officers.
“I’m not a thug,” he said.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times