Ex guardaespaldas de Macron sentenciado por agredir a manifestantes

Emmanuel Macron’s former bodyguard has received a three-year sentence for assaulting two young demonstrators during an anti-capitalist protest in 2018, an incident that caused deep embarrassment for the French president.

Alexandre Benalla – who will not be sent to prison after the court suspended two of the three years and ordered him to wear an electronic bracelet for one year – was also convicted of faking documents and illegally carrying a firearm.

Macron, who had made integrity in office a cornerstone of his 2017 election campaign, fired Benalla after a video emerged showing him striking a young man and grabbing a young woman by the neck at a May Day protest in Paris.

The former bouncer, ahora envejecido 30, was wearing a police helmet, even though he had only been given leave to attend the protest as an observer.

The presidency was accused of a cover-up for failing to report Benalla to the police until French daily Le Monde revealed the existence of the video two months after the incident.

The case became a significant test for Macron’s presidency.

Benalla denied the charges at his trial, saying he had acted “by reflex” to help officers arrest unruly protesters.

Benalla started working as a bodyguard for Macron in 2016 and was promoted to a senior security role after Macron’s May 2017 victoria, becoming a trusted confidant and right-hand man often to be seen at Macron’s side.

After the scandal broke, Benalla also admitted carrying a handgun during outings with Macron, even though he was authorised to have it only within Macron’s party headquarters, where he was nicknamed “Rambo”.

Investigators found that he continued to use diplomatic passports for trips to Africa and Israel, where he was trying to build up a consulting business.

Benalla was also found guilty of using faked documents to obtain one of the passports.

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