Macron’s ex-bodyguard Benalla jailed ahead of Senate report
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French President Emmanuel Macron’s disgraced former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla has been jailed, on the eve of the release of a Senate report into Benalla’s relationship with the presidential office.
Investigators placed Benalla in jail for breaking the conditions of his bail, according to his lawyer Jacqueline Laffont, who said she had launched an appeal against the provisional detention.
Benalla is facing criminal charges for assault and for impersonating a police officer after it emerged in July that he beat up protesters at a May Day demonstration in Paris.
The 26-year-old was fired after the revelations, but the event turned into a political scandal over how Macron’s administration dealt with the affair.
Officials are questioning whether he may have since been profiting from his insider status first as a bodyguard and then as a member of Macron’s presidential staff.
A new probe was opened in December following revelations that Benalla continued to use diplomatic passports after he was sacked from the presidential office, which led to claims he lied to a Senate committee investigating the case.
The committee was due to report its findings on Wednesday, along with recommendations to avoid repeating the “dysfunctions at the highest level of the state” revealed by the case.
Much scrutiny has centred on Benalla’s relationship with Macron, with whom the former bodyguard says he has maintained contact.
This month, investigative website Mediapart refused to let prosecutors search its offices over a secret recording of a conversation in which Benalla claims to have Macron’s support over the scandal.
The following week saw top Macron aide, Ismael Emelien, who has been embroiled in the Benalla scandal, resign from his position, ostensibly to focus on promoting a new book.