Mystery of why disgraced ex-Élysée aide Benalla secretly met African leader with key Macron ally

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Despite claims from the Élysée that Emmanuel Macron's former security aide no longer has any links with the presidency, Alexandre Benalla held a secret meeting with an African head of state in the company of a current member of the president's inner circle, Mediapart can reveal. At the end of May 2020 Benalla – who was sacked from the Élysée in July 2018 after being filmed beating up protesters in Paris - met with the new president of Guinea-Bissau, Umaro Sissoco Embaló, along with Élysée aide Ludovic Chaker. Chaker is a former soldier who was the first secretary general of Macron's political movement En Marche! in 2016, and a significant figure in the president's entourage. Fabrice Arfi, Antton Rouget and Marine Turchi report.

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President Emmanuel Macron's disgraced former security aide had a secret meeting with an African head of state in the company of a senior current official at the Élysée, Mediapart can reveal. The revelation casts doubt on repeated claims by the French presidency that Benalla – who was sacked in July 2018 after he was filmed beating up protesters at a May Day demonstration in Paris – no longer has any links with the Élysée.