Macron to fire senior aide for assaulting protester

Published: July 20, 2018 20:53:39 | Updated: July 24, 2018 21:16:10

French President Emmanuel Macron's office has begun dismissal proceedings against a senior security adviser who is under investigation for beating up a protester at a May Day demonstration.

Video footage from the protest showed Alexandre Benalla lifting a protester off the ground by his neck and covering the man's mouth before striking him over the head with his fist.

"The presidency decided to start Alexandre Benalla's dismissal procedure after new facts that could constitute misdemeanour were brought to the president's attention," the Élysée Palace said in a statement Friday, reports CNN.

Bruno Badre, a spokesman for the Paris prosecutor, confirmed Benalla was currently being questioned by police as part of the assault inquiry.

Bernalla had already been suspended for 15 days by the Élysée Palace before its latest step was announced.

Government minister Julien Denormandie called Benalla's behavior "unacceptable" on Thursday.

Three Paris police officers have been suspended on suspicion of unauthorized communication of surveillance footage to a third party, the French Ministry of Interior said in a statement Friday. The ministry declined to specify who the third party was.

Interior Minister Gérard Collomb "strongly condemns these actions which, if they are confirmed, constitute a serious breach of ethics and undermine the exemplary image which must, in all circumstances, characterise the action of the national police," the statement said.

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