French minister defends himself over violence of Macron aide

PARIS | French minister defends himself over violence of Macron aide

PARIS — France’s interior minister has insisted that it wasn’t for him to inform judicial officials of violence by a presidential security aide against a May Day protester even though he was informed the following day.

Answering questions on Monday from lawmakers, Gerard Collomb said the president’s office informed him that sanctions were taken against Alexandre Benalla and it wasn’t his job to do more.

The failure to immediately inform judicial officials has developed into a major political crisis for President Emmanuel Macron.

Benalla was only publicly identified last week as the man beating a protester on May 1 and handed preliminary charges on Sunday.

A parliamentary inquiry commission is trying to determine the facts.

Benalla was embedded with police as an observer during the May Day protests.

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By Associated Press