Macron’s former security chief sentenced to 3 years in prison

Case linked to violence against civilians, misuse of diplomatic passports.

Macron’s former security chief sentenced to 3 years in prison

A Paris court sentenced President Emmanuel Macron’s former bodyguard and adviser to three years on Friday in a case linked to violence against civilians and misuse of diplomatic passports.

Alexandre Benalla received a three-year sentence, two of which were suspended. He will be under detention at home and armed with an electronic bracelet. He was also fined €500 ($578), banned from exercising any public office for five years and prohibited from carrying weapons.

Benalla was charged for acting with impunity in carrying out violence and interfering in police affairs during a demonstration on May 1, 2018.

In video footage published by French newspaper Le Monde, he was seen wearing police gear and attacking two protesters.

The video led to a major political scandal and he was dismissed from the president’s office.

Benalla was considered a close confidante of Macron and the two were seen together at several events.

Throughout the trial, he maintained his innocence. He said his actions were legitimate and out of “citizen’s reflex” as protesters attacked police.

On the fraudulent use of diplomatic passports, Benalla said it did not seem illegal to him, according to BFMTV news.

After his suspension, a judicial investigation indicted Benalla for “forgery and use of forgery” on the service passport, on unsigned fraudulent letterhead of the Elysee.

He was found traveling on the diplomatic passport to Africa and Israel as an international security consultant.