French President Emmanuel Macron’s chauffeur, who was identified as Stephane P., fled police after being caught exceeding the speed limit at Saint-Cloud in the suburbs of Paris, investigative website Mediapart reported.
In the incident, which is said to have taken place on 27 February, the driver allegedly refused to stop, but a police officer managed to spot the vehicle’s number plate and traced the car back to the presidential palace in Versailles.
The Elysee has so far refused to comment on the ongoing legal process, but assured that as soon as it was informed of the facts, the individual in question was “reassigned” within the Security Group for the Presidency of the Republic (GSPR) as a precaution.
The alleged incident has drawn much condemnation on social media, with many sharp-tongued users not hesitating to weigh in:
TWEET: “He may even be promoted to a more important position”.
Il sera peut être même promu à un poste plus important— Carlo Man (@CARLOMAN66) 5 мая 2019 г.
TWEET: “Why did he run away? What did he have in the car?”
Pourquoi a t il fuit? Qu’avait il dans la voiture?— CATHYJGD (@cathyjgd) 5 мая 2019 г.
TWEET: “He will certainly be appointed Minister of Transport”.
Il va sûrement être nommé ministre des transports.— Fern Robichaud (@Fern0947) 5 мая 2019 г.
TWEET: “He thinks he is in GTA…”
Another netizen made a reference to another scandal that rocked Emmanuel Macron’s presidency, when his former security aide Alexandre Benalla was filmed tackling a May Day protester in Paris while wearing a police riot helmet a year ago.
TWEET: “The driver is Benalla?”
Le chauffeur, c’est Benalla?— Marlèche Chipolata — par0die (@Marleche_Chipo) 4 мая 2019 г.
Benalla was fired after the video surfaced online in July 2018, with media outlets accusing the Elysee of attempting to cover up the incident. The former security aide has since been charged with assault, impersonating an officer, and illicitly receiving CCTV footage of the incident; he has, however, denied any wrongdoing.