He had been recruited to “solve the problems”: three years after the resounding scandal which shook the Elysee, the trial of the former head of mission Alexandre Benalla for the violence of May 1, 2018 and the fraudulent use of his diplomatic passports kicked off Monday in Paris.
After a summary of the investigations, the court considered the career of the former deputy to the chief of staff of the presidency, from the baccalaureate to the Élysée, through his law studies, the order service of the Socialist Party and the campaign of candidate Emmanuel Macron.
“We say to ourselves + but who does he think he is! + “
Just before his twenty-fifth birthday, in August 2016, the En Marche association hired him to “solve the problems”, or more officially as “director of safety and security”, tells the bar the former close collaborator of Emmanuel Macron, surgical mask and round glasses. Seduced by “the human adventure”, Alexandre Benalla will count under his orders “four employees” of En Marche and “about 450 volunteers throughout France”, he explains standing, hands crossed, his broad shoulders arched in a dark suit.
During the first hours of the trial, the main defendant responded calmly. During the investigation, he may have had “disrespectful” behavior, surprised President Isabelle Prévost-Desprez, adding that reading certain documents in the file “we say to ourselves + but who does he think he is! + “
At the turn of a question, the magistrate also wonders about her attitude on the day of her placement in police custody, a few days after the explosion of the scandal. In particular, he refused to give his companion’s number during the search. “I was surprised”, “I had the impression of having done something positive for society, that is to say questioning delinquents”, justifies Alexandre Benalla. “I did not see at all what my companion had to do with the investigation which had just been opened drum beating under the media pressure”, he continues, assuring to have been “very collaborative”.
Why did he move the safe?
Why did he then move, during the night, the safe containing his weapons which was in the apartment, asks the president? “My home was easily identifiable”, “I could be targeted by ill-intentioned people,” he maintains, adding that he then handed over the weapons to justice. An investigation is still pending on the disappearance of this safe. “For someone who wanted to be a police commissioner”, isn’t that an “inappropriate attitude? “No, I don’t think so,” replies Alexandre Benalla, who refutes any “provocation”.
During the three weeks of hearing, Alexandre Benalla will also have to answer for the use of two diplomatic passports after his dismissal from the Elysee. He is also suspected of having obtained a service passport by producing a forgery, which he disputes. He is finally prosecuted for carrying an unauthorized weapon, in April 2017 in Poitiers, during the presidential campaign of Emmanuel Macron. He faces up to seven years in prison and a 100,000 euros fine.
Two officials from the Paris police headquarters are on trial for having transmitted, just after the explosion of the case, CCTV images to Alexandre Benalla.