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Macron's inner circle to be questioned over 'Benallagate'

French President Emmanuel Macron (C), flanked by Elysee senior security officer Alexandre Benalla (L), shakes hands with people after he voting in Le Touquet, northern France, during the second round of the French parliamentary elections.
French President Emmanuel Macron (C), flanked by Elysee senior security officer Alexandre Benalla (L), shakes hands with people after he voting in Le Touquet, northern France, during the second round of the French parliamentary elections. CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT / POOL / AFP

The head of President Emmanuel Macron's cabinet, Patrick Strzoda, will testify Tuesday before parliament as part of an inquiry into Macron's former top security aide, who was filmed beating demonstrators during a Paris protest.

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Top officials in President Emmanuel Macron's office were to appear before parliamentary commissions Tuesday as questions swirl over the scandal sparked by his former top security aide, who insists he was trying to help police when he was filmed manhandling demonstrators after a violent Paris protest.

France's interior minister and the Paris police chief both indicated in testimony Monday that they were unaware Alexandre Benalla would be attending the police operation during May Day protests.

Another top police official, Alain Gibelin, told the National Assembly panel late Monday that contrary to Benalla's claims, he had no official authorisation to attend the operation as an "observer".

Macron's office director Patrick Strzoda was to appear Tuesday before the commission at 4:30 pm as was Marie-France Moneger-Guyomar'ch, the head of the national police oversight body.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and other ministers are also expected to get an earful during parliamentary questioning on Tuesday afternoon.

On Thursday morning a Senate panel will question Macron's chief of staff Alexis Kohler.

Macron is facing growing calls to address personally what has been dubbed "Benallagate", which has prompted opposition claims of an attempted cover-up and paralysed parliamentary debate.

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