Alexandre Benalla

Russian link to key figure in Macron security advisor scandal

France— Investigation

An oligarch close to Vladimir Putin, and suspected by several European judges of being linked to the Russian mafia, paid money to the company of a key figure in the scandal involving President Emmanuel Macron's former security advisor Alexandre Benalla. A payment of almost 300,000 euros was made to the company of gendarme reservist Vincent Crase in June 2018, at a time when the latter was still employed by the French president's party La République en Marche as the deputy 'security and safety' manager. Crase was with Alexandre Benalla when Macron's security advisor was caught on video using violence against demonstrators on May 1st 2018 in a scandal that rocked the French presidency over the summer. Fabrice Arfi, Antton Rouget, Marine Turchi and Anastasia Kirilenko report.

Just 17 months after election, Macron's Élysée already has an 'end of reign' atmosphere

France— Analysis

A series of controversial affairs involving key staff, some surprise resignations, comments from senior figures in his own administration and dysfunctional behaviour at all levels of government have left President Emmanuel Macron weaker than ever after the summer. There is growing concern inside his entourage where many now recognise that the presidency has a problem; and that this problem involves the president himself. Ellen Salvi reports.

How Macron's security aide produced gun for a selfie during election campaign

France— Investigation

The incident took place on the night of April 28th, 2017, after an election rally by Emmanuel Macron. Alexandre Benalla – who has now lost his job as the president's security aide – posed for a selfie in a restaurant. In it he is shown holding his gun. The problem for Benalla, however, is that at the time he was not authorised to carry a firearm. The prosecution authorities have now announced a preliminary investigation into the matter. Christophe Gueugneau and Antton Rouget report.

Disgraced Macron aide quizzed by French Senate

France— Link

Alexandre Benalla, the 27-year-old security aide for French President Emmanuel Macon whose ambiguous role inside the Élysée Palace came under scrutiny after video published on social media showed him beating participants in May Day demonstrations while illegally wearing police insignia, reluctantly submitted to questions by a Senate commission of inquiry in parallel to a judicial investigation into his actions.  

Macron security aide affair: Alexandre Benalla says he concealed evidence

France— Investigation

Paris prosecutors have refused to broaden the scope of the investigation of the Alexandre Benalla affair into claims that evidence in the case was concealed. This is despite the fact that, according to documents seen by Mediapart, President Emmanuel Macron's former security aide himself claimed that he had arranged for evidence to be hidden. The affair concerns claims – backed by video footage – that Benalla and another official unlawfully took part in the arrest of a May Day demonstrator in a Paris park earlier this year. Pascale Pascariello, Fabrice Arfi and Karl Laske report.

'A man of power like the others': what voters think of Macron after Benalla affair

France— Report

In an attempt to play down the Benalla affair, the minister for equality Marlène Schiappa claimed that the issue did not interest “the people”. To test this assertion Mediapart went to  her political stronghold, the central western city of Le Mans, visiting both its plusher districts where Emmanuel Macron picked up 35% of the first-round vote last year, and more working class areas. As Justine Brabant found, while the affair involving the president's bodyguard dressing in police insignia and beating up protestors has not shaken people's convictions, many profess to be weary of politics – both that of the old world and Macron's “new world”.

Why the buck stops with Macron over Benalla scandal

France— Opinion

Without Emmanuel Macron there would have been no Alexandre Benalla at the Élysée; for the man who dressed with police insignia and assaulted demonstrators owes everything to the president. But, equally, there would be no Benalla scandal without the support given by the president of the Republic to his trusted aide. Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel says that it is this protection, even lying, that makes this scandal an affair of state.

New video shows Macron aide and associate illegally 'policing' May Day crowds

France— Investigation

French President Emmanuel Macron’s security aide Alexandre Benalla, together with an employee of Macron’s ruling LREM party, Vincent Crase, were involved on May 1st in other incidents before they assaulted a man among May Day crowds at a square in the Latin Quarter of Paris. In a new video obtained by Mediapart, the two men, officially present alongside police as civilian “observers” of crowd-control operations that day, can be seen heavy-handedly joining in the arrest of a man at a public park. The new evidence of their violent and illegal behaviour that day further deepens the scandal of a suspected cover-up of their actions by the presidential office and senior police hierarchy.

Macron aide scandal: illegally copied CCTV footage given to Élysée ended up on Twitter

France— Investigation

The unfolding scandal prompted by videos of the vicious assault of a man during May Day disturbances by President Emmanuel Macron’s private security aide Alexandre Benalla now includes the revelation that confidential police CCTV footage of the events in a Paris square were published on Twitter by supporters of Macron’s party in an attempt to denigrate Benalla’s victim. Screenshots obtained by Mediapart show the images, apparently from a CD copy of the footage given to Benalla by police officers, and which Benalla said he immediately handed to the Élysée Palace, were posted on social media just after Benalla’s thuggish behaviour was revealed by French daily Le Monde – before being removed just hours later.Karl Laske, Pascale Pascariello and Lénaïg Bredoux report.

Scandal-hit Macron looses his shine among French voters

France— Link

The far-reaching scandal surrounding Emmanuel Macron's former security aide has deeply bruised the young French president's aura of modernity and candour, reports The Guardian from northern Burgundy.

Shamed Élysée aide says he was 'weak link' for Macron's enemies

France— Link

In his first interview since prompting the worst crisis of Emmanuel Macron's presidency, disgraced security aide Alexandre Benalla said 'my case has been used to settle scores' and accused 'politicians and police' of using him as 'weak link' with which to hurt the French president.

Macron dismisses Benalla scandal as 'storm in a teacup'

France— Link

French President Emmanuel Macron, during a visit on Thursday to south-west France, said the political scandal in which he is mired after a close aide was caught wearing police insignia beating up a young man during May Day marches was 'a storm in a teacup', adding that 'it doesn't affect me much'.

Police raid Benalla office at Élysée, Macron at last makes comment

France— Link

While French President Emmanuel Macron made his first comments on the scandal which broke last week over his wayward personal security official Alexandre Benalla, police on Wednesday searched the latter's former office at the presidency. 

Benalla scandal lifts lid on shadowy Élysée 'mission leaders'

France— Investigation

The political scandal surrounding Emmanuel Macron’s disgraced personal security advisor Alexandre Benalla is centred less on his thuggish behaviour in beating up May Day demonstrators while illegally wearing police insignia but rather on the secrecy of his role and his relationship with the president who afforded the 26-year-old extraordinary powers. Benalla was engaged as a ‘mission leader’ with the presidency, a vague title afforded to a number of other Élysée Palace staff whose activities are largely unaccountable to the public. Mediapart has obtained the employment contracts of Benalla and five other so-called ‘mission leaders’ at the Élysée which reveal how they are exempt from probity law requirements that apply to official advisors. Mathilde Mathieu reports.     

Timeline of the Benalla-Macron scandal

France— Link

France 24 presents a timeline of the crisis into which Emmanuel Macron's presidency has been thrown in a turbulent week following revelations of the extraordinary powers given to his personal security advisor, Alexandre Benalla, who was caught on video footage beating up a May Day demonstrator in Paris while passing himself off as a police officer.