07:52 GMT +323 April 2019
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    In this picture dated Feb. 24, 2017 French president Emmanuel Macron, center, visits the 55th International Agriculture Fair at the Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France, as Elysee senior security officer Alexandre Benalla, right, looks on

    French Prosecutor Opens Probe Into Presidency Officials Over Benalla Case

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    Emmanuel Macron’s former security aide Alexandre Benalla was fired in August after he was caught on tape beating protesters at a 1 May protest. He was charged with multiple offences, including violent acts.

    Two preliminary probes, including one for "false testimony", into presidency officials in the Benalla case have been opened, Reuters reported on Monday citing a French prosecutor.

    The prosecutor did not specify which officials are the targets of the probe. However, the Paris prosecutor's office noted that the Senate provided a "list of inconsistencies and contradictions" noted in the statements made by employees of the head of state including, Vincent Crase, a former staffer in Macron's party, and Patrick Strzoda, Macron's chief of staff.

    This comes after last month the French Senate's executive body agreed to refer three senior officials in the president's administration to prosecutors on suspicion of false testimony in the case involving Emmanuel Macron's former security aide Alexandre Benalla.

    In July 2018, footage showing Macron's ex-aide Alexandre Benalla punch a young protester emerged. He was promptly suspended from duties and then sacked in August, with Macron describing his actions as a "betrayal."

    The former security aide was charged with multiple offences, including violent acts, interfering in the work of public services, wearing an official insignia without authorisation, concealing video materials and breaching professional secrecy. Meanwhile, Benalla said that he considered his actions during the rally as legitimate, claiming that he tried to help police officers confront offenders.

    READ MORE: Macron's Approval Rating Hits Record Low in Light of Benalla Scandal — Poll

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    testimony, probe, Alexander Benalla, Emmanuel Macron, France
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