Macron orders reshuffle over President’s security aide scandal

Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron

Paris, July 23:Emmanuel Macron has ordered reshuffling of the staff members after one of the French president’s top security officer was filmed hitting and stamping on a young man at a Paris demonstration while dressed as a police officer. Macron discussed the row with several ministers on Sunday.

Macron is under immense pressure to order an inquiry into the scandal that erupted when Le Monde published a video showing Alexandre Benalla, a senior member of security staff at the Élysée Palace, in a Paris square where riot police were using tear gas to move on young people during labour day street gatherings on 1 May. Alexandre Benalla, who was Macron’s top bodyguard, is seen dragging away a woman and then beating a man during May Day protests in Paris.

The French public prosecutor opened a preliminary inquiry on Thursday into a raft of possible charges including violence by a public official, pretending to be a member of the police and illegally using police insignia.

He has been charged with group violence and illegally wearing a police badge. Benalla was fired on Friday.
The French presidency has been accused of being aware of the incident and intentionally covering the scandal and failing to act swiftly against Benalla.
An official said Macron had described the incident “unacceptable” and promised there would be “no impunity”.

There rae reports that senior presidential official Alexis Kohler will rejig Macron’s private office so as to prevent a repeat of the incident.

Three policemen have also been charged in connection with the incident. They were questioned on Saturday for allegedly leaking security footage to try and prove Benalla’s innocence.

The video was posted on social media in May, but the case became a political scandal after Le Monde newspaper revealed that the attacker was Benalla, aged 26.

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