Benalla Affair – French Senate demands investigation of three close aides to Macron

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A French Senate commission demanded Wednesday an investigation into three close aides to President Emmanuel Macron after finding “major flaws” in the government’s handling of a scandal involving security aide Alexandre Benalla.

The senators accused the three aides, including Macron’s chief of staff, of contradictions in their testimony over the scandal triggered in July by video footage of former security aide Benalla roughing up protesters during a May Day rally.

Their report suggested that chief of staff Patrick Strzoda, presidency secretary Alexis Kohler and security chief Lionel Lavergne may have “withheld significant truth” during their testimony, notably about the remit of Benalla’s role as security adviser, and called on prosecutors to look into their statements.

The senate’s investigative committee also said it had reason to believe Benalla may have lied to them under oath.

French justice announced on Wednesday they had opened another probe into by former Macron aide Alexandra Benalla for allegedly obstructing investigations by “concealing evidence”.

Benalla, who was already facing criminal charges, was placed in detention on Tuesday for allegedly breaking the conditions of his bail, his lawyer Jacqueline Laffont said.

“What happened on May Day now appears to be the tip of the iceberg,” Philippe Bas, a senator from the opposition centre-right Les Républicains party and head of the investigative committee, told reporters.

Via France 24

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