The Latest: Macron aide given initial charges from beating
PARIS – The Latest on the beating of a protester by a security aide to France’s president (all times local):
French authorities have handed preliminary charges to one of President Emmanuel Macron’s top security aides after he was captured on video beating a protester in May.
The charges came after French authorities opened a judicial investigation Sunday of the assault, which has sparked the first major political crisis for Macron since he took office last year.
A judge handed Alexandre Benalla multiple charges on Sunday night. They included violence, interfering in the exercise of public office and the unauthorized public display of official insignia.
The video made public by Le Monde newspaper on Wednesday showed Benalla wearing a police helmet at the May Day protest. He is not a police officer.
Four others were also charged: Vincent Crase, who worked for Macron’s party and was with Benalla on the day of the protest, and three police officers who were suspected of illegally passing footage from the event to Benalla.
Crase was handed preliminary charges of violence and prohibited possession of a weapon.
The French presidential aide who was caught on video beating a protester is going before a judge and could be charged with violence by a public official, illegal use of surveillance video and impersonating a police officer.
The video of the May 1 event in Paris, revealed Wednesday by the Le Monde newspaper, shows Benalla in a helmet with police markings. Surrounded by riot police, he brutally drags a woman from a demonstration and then repeatedly beats a young male protester on the ground.
The man is heard begging him to stop. Another man in civilian clothing pulled the young man to the ground. Police didn’t intervene.
The presidential palace began the process of firing the 26-yeaer-old on Friday and his house was raided by investigators on Saturday.
Benalla handled Macron’s security during the 2017 presidential campaign and continued working for Macron after his election.
French authorities have opened a judicial investigation into the beating of a protester in May by one of President Emmanuel Macron’s top security aides.
The shocking attack by Alexandre Benalla was caught on camera and is sparking a major political crisis for the French leader.
Paris prosecutor’s office said Sunday that Benalla and four others are being placed under judicial control and are going before a judge, where charges could soon be brought.
Macron has remained silent on the topic. Benalla was fired Friday by the presidential palace and investigators raided his home on Saturday.
Paris prosecutor’s office said Benalla, who handled Macron’s security during the 2017 presidential campaign, and Vincent Crase, who was by Benalla’s side during the attack, are now prohibited from possessing a weapon or working at a public function.
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