Macron’s ex-bodyguard to be tried for assault in France

Macron's ex-bodyguard to be tried for assault in France
Top presidential security chief Alexandre Benalla walking alongside President Emmanuel Macron on April 12th, 2018. Photo: Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP
French President Emmanuel Macron's disgraced former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla has been ordered to stand trial for assault, AFP learned Tuesday, three years after he was caught on camera hitting protesters while working for the presidency.

The Benalla affair, as it is known in France, was the first major scandal of Macron’s presidency, coming just a year after his election on a promise to restore integrity to French public life.

Benalla, a former bouncer who had a senior security role in Macron’s team, was caught on video striking a young man and grabbing a young woman by the neck at a May Day protest in 2018.

READ ALSO: Why ‘Benallagate’ was once one of the biggest crisis Macron faced

He had been given leave by the presidency to attend the protest as an observer but, once there, waded into the fray wearing a police helmet and began roughing up leftist demonstrators.

The presidency initially held off reporting Benalla to the authorities, leading to allegations of a cover-up.

(article continues below)

See also on The Local:

He was fired only after Le Monde newspaper broke the story in July 2018.

A French Senate commission of inquiry found “major flaws” in the government’s handling of the affair and said it suspected Macron’s aides of trying to cover up some of the details.

Judicial sources confirmed to AFP on Tuesday that he would be tried for assault, “unauthorised interference in the performance of public duties” and unauthorised wearing of insignia, relating to the helmet.

VIDEO: Uproar in France after member of Macron’s staff filmed beating up protester

Benalla claims he was helping police arrest the protesters.

He has already been ordered to stand trial in another case, involving his continued use of diplomatic passports after his dismissal.   


Member comments

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.

  1. Chuck him in prison for a few years. It will hopefully teach him how to respect people and not go around being a bully.

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.