Alexandre Benalla is sentenced to three years in prison, two exempt from compliance and one in firm prison, for attacking protesters in May 2018
Alexandre Benalla, former head of security for French President Emmanuel Macron, was sentenced this Friday by a Paris court to three years in prison, two exempt from compliance and one in firm prison, for hitting protesters in May 2018, for carrying prohibited weapon and for fraudulent use of diplomatic passports. He will serve the year in jail under house arrest with an electronic bracelet, the court said.
He was also sentenced to a 500 euro fine, the confiscation of his weapons and the prohibition of exercising any public function for five years. The prosecution had asked for only 18 months in prison with suspended sentences for Macron’s former bodyguard, so the sentence was harsher than expected.
The “Benalla case” broke out in July 2018 after the daily “Le Monde” published a video in which Benalla was seen attacking two protesters, a man and a woman, in the Place de la Contrescarpe in Paris during the protests on May 1, International Workers’ Day. Macron’s ex-bodyguard, who was wearing a police helmet with a visor that disguised his face that day, was supposed to be at the demonstration only as an observer and should not have intervened, along with other policemen, in the protest.
The broadcast of the video sparked Macron’s first major political crisis after he became president of France in May 2017. Benalla, now 30, stopped working at the Elysee Palace in August 2018.
The political-media soap opera continued later. The French press published a photo of him in which he exhibited a weapon without having permission to do so. It was also learned that Benalla, after being fired from the Elysee, continued to use two diplomatic passports to travel abroad and wrote a false document to obtain another service passport, to which he was no longer entitled.
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