French minister and police chief point to Élysée over Benalla scandal

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The French parliament commission of inquiry into the scandal sparked by media revelations last week of the vicious assault upon a May Day demonstrator by President Emmanuel Macron’s personal security advisor, Alexandre Benalla, who was illegally allowed to take an active part in policing May 1st crowds dressed with police insignia, began its first hearings on Monday, when it quizzed interior minister Gérard Collomb and Paris police prefect Michel Delpuech. In their testimony, both men clearly placed responsibility for what increasingly appears as a far-reaching cover-up at the door of the presidential office.

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French interior minister Gérard Collomb on Monday confirmed that he was made aware on May 2nd of video footage showing President Emmanuel Macron’s chief personal security aide Alexandre Benalla beating up a May Day protestor in the presence of police 24 hours earlier, but failed to alert the justice authorities of the events because the case was in the hands of the presidential office.