Macron fires aide Alexandre Benalla who stamped on protester

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France’s President Macron is to fire a security adviser who hit and stamped on a May Day protester, the Elysee Palace has said.

Alexandre Benalla is being questioned by police, prosecutors said.

“New facts that could constitute misdemeanour by Alexandre Benalla were brought to the president’s attention,” a palace official commented.

“As a result… the presidency has decided to start Alexandre Benalla’s dismissal procedure.”

Mr Macron had been under pressure to act after the Le Monde newspaper said his office had suspended Benalla but not contacted police.

Opposition leaders have criticised Mr Macron for not sacking Benalla straight away.

Alexandre Benalla. Pic: Taha Bouhafs  Macron fires aide Alexandre Benalla who stamped on protester skynews alexandre benalla macron security 4366665
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Alexandre Benalla is being questioned by police. Pic: Taha Bouhafs

Video footage of the Paris demonstration showed Benalla dragging a female protester with his right arm around her neck.

He was later seen attempting to do the same with a male protester who resisted.

The presidential aide was seen striking the man’s head and stamping on him. The victim fell to the ground and pleaded with him to stop.

Benalla was wearing a police helmet at the time and had been given permission to attend the protest as an observer.

Alexandre Benalla dragging a female protester. Pic: Taha Bouhafs  Macron fires aide Alexandre Benalla who stamped on protester skynews alexandre benalla macron security 4365990
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Alexandre Benalla dragging a female protester. Pic: Taha Bouhafs

His actions were previously described as “unacceptable behaviour” by Mr Macron’s spokesman, Bruno Roger-Petit.

Mr Roger-Petit added that Benalla had been suspended for 15 days without pay and his responsibilities for organising security for presidential trips taken away from him.

He said the punishment was the “most serious” ever given to a top security official at the Elysee Palace.



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