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Ex-Macron bodyguard gets one year in jail

Alexandre Benalla, a former bodyguard to French President Emmanuel Macron, has been sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of assaulting protesters during anti-capitalism demonstrations in 2018, alongside other offences.

Two of the years will be suspended, according to the Paris court’s verdict which was handed down on Friday.

The allegations against the former security aide put great pressure on the government.

Benalla was forced to resign from his post after media reports emerged on his brutal response to May Day demonstrators on May 1, 2018.

He was not on duty that day in a law enforcement capacity but he appeared wearing a police armband and police helmet, footage showed.

He was found guilty of using deliberate violence against four people.

He also interfered with their arrest without being officially authorised to do so.

The court also ruled that Benalla had unlawfully used diplomatic passports after being sacked from his post.

He was further found guilty of illegally carrying a gun at a Macron campaigning event in April 2017.

The sentence was based on the seriousness of his offences, as well as the fact that Benalla consistently refused to acknowledge his guilt, reflecting indifference to the law.

He is to spend the one-year part of his sentence which is not suspended at home, with an ankle tag.

with AP

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