04:18 GMT +316 January 2019
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    Emmanuel Macron, center, flanked by his bodyguard, Alexandre Benalla, left, visits the Agriculture Fair in Paris, Wednesday, March 1, 2017

    Ex-Macron’s Aide Returns Diplomatic Passports After Months of Requests – Reports

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - French President Emmanuel Macron’s former security aide Alexandre Benalla has returned diplomatic passports to prosecutors six months after requests made by the authorities, the BFMTV reported on Wednesday.

    According to the BFMTV broadcaster, Benalla handed over his passports through his lawyer.

    The foreign minister has requested the former aide to return passports twice, on July 26 and September 10.

    READ MORE: Ex-Macron Aide Claims Kept in Touch With President Via Telegram After Dismissal

    A scandal involving Benalla broke out in July after a video emerged capturing Macron's aide in riot police gear during a May Day demonstration, first tackling a young woman and then lashing out at a young man. After the video emerged, Benalla claimed that he was helping the police deal with aggressive protesters.

    Benalla was fired after having been caught on camera hitting a protester during the May Day demonstrations in Paris. In December, media reported that the former aide continued to travel with a diplomatic passport even after leaving his post. The use of diplomatic passports was then confirmed by the former security aide himself. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian decided to approach the prosecutor's office, with the preliminary investigation into the matter having been launched last month.

    Benalla has been charged with multiple offenses, including violent acts, interfering in the work of public services, wearing an official insignia without authorization, concealing video materials and breaching professional secrecy. The former security aide, in turn, has said that he considered his actions during the demonstration legitimate, claiming that he tried to help the police officers deal with offenders.

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    Tags:
    investigation, passport, Foreign Ministry, Alexander Benalla, Emmanuel Macron, France
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