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Macron’s adviser Alexandre Benalla wanted to ‘lend a hand to police’

Alexandre Benalla, 29, was caught up in the scandal after being caught on camera

Emmanuel Macron’s security adviser has released a statement saying he just wanted to ‘lend a hand to police’ after he was caught attacking anti-government protesters in riot gear.

Alexandre Benalla, a 26-year-old who was one of the president’s closest lieutenants, was caught on camera beating demonstrators while dressed as a police officer on May 1.

But speaking through his lawyers, the security adviser claimed he was only present at the May Day protests to ‘observe police operations’.  

‘He was received and equipped by the police, who assigned him various positions,’ the statement released on Monday read. 

‘On the occasion of this observation, Mr. Benalla was able to supplement his knowledge of the maintenance of order and had no vocation to intervene personally on these operations.

‘However, witnessing the actions of two particularly virulent individuals and the seeming overtaking of the operational capacities of the police officers on the spot, Mr. Benalla took the initiative to lend a hand to the device by helping to control these people. This vigorous but non-violent action caused no injury.’

 

The 26-year-old was one of the president Macron's closest lieutenants (pictured together last May)

The 26-year-old was one of the president Macron’s closest lieutenants (pictured together last May)

His lawyers also claimed that he personally reported the incident after it took place and that he received an ‘administrative penalty from his employer’.   

Benalla was on Sunday night indicted with charges including violence at a public meeting, impersonating a police officer and trying to destroy video evidence. 

Vincent Crase, who worked for Mr Macron during his election campaign last year, faced similar charges. 

The policemen, meanwhile, were accused of giving Benalla video surveillance images of his assaults in ‘breach of professional secrecy’.

They are said to have hidden the footage in the hope that it could not be used as evidence.

All of the men were on Sunday night bailed to appear in court at a later date after judicial police spent the weekend interviewing them.

Alexandre Benalla, who is in his mid-30s, attacking two young protesters, including a woman (pictured)

Mr Benalla is seen throwing a young male protester on the ground

Security adviser Alexandre Benalla faces prison after footage emerged of him attacking May Day protesters earlier this year

Security adviser Alexandre Benalla faces prison after footage emerged of him attacking May Day protesters earlier this year

Security adviser Alexandre Benalla faces prison after footage emerged of him attacking May Day protesters earlier this year

‘They are all under judicial control,’ said a prosecuting source, as he confirmed all of the charges.

Benalla, who used to ski and cycle with Mr Macron, was initially suspended from the Elysee Palace staff for just fifteen days, but his alleged crimes were otherwise hushed up.

The French interior minister admitted he was told of Mr Benalla’s attack but said it was not his role to report them to the police.

Quizzed by MPs, Gérard Collomb said Alexandre Benalla’s violent behaviour was unacceptable but that the Élysée adviser’s presence at the demonstrations as an observer was legitimate. 

After a meeting of top government ministers at the Elysee on Sunday, Macron said he considered the facts in Benalla’s case ‘unacceptable,’ –  a close aide of the French president revealed.

Moreover, Macron ordered a reorganization of his office after acknowledging failings in the way the presidency had handled the scandal. 

French interior minister Gerard Collomb (right) admitted on Monday he was aware of Mr Benalla's behaviour 

French interior minister Gerard Collomb (right) admitted on Monday he was aware of Mr Benalla’s behaviour 

Benalla was pictured being confronted by a bystander before it was posted on Twitter

Benalla was pictured being confronted by a bystander before it was posted on Twitter



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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