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Macron Security Advisor scandal deepens with Minister under attack



Paris (AFP) – The most damaging scandal surrounding Emmanuel Macron's presidency intensified on Saturday with his Home Secretary protesting at his reaction to a top security advisor to Macron, who beat a young man in the video business May in Paris

Opposition lawmakers have demanded that Macron, who has been silent on the incident so far, explain the state of affairs after the videos of his advisor Alexandre Benalla appeared this week.

"If Macron does not explain herself, the Benalla affair will be the Macron affair," said right-wing leader Marine Le Pen in a Tweet.

Laurent Wauquiez, the head of the Republican Party, accused the government of "disguising a state matter" and Macron had to make the matter clear to the French people.

And left-wing leader Jean-Luc Melenchon of the French Unbowed Party called it a Scandal of Watergate proportions and accused Macron of "organizing a personal militia"

Watergate was the name of a dirty tricks scandal, 1974 led to the resignation of former US President Richard Nixon.

Benalla, 26, was initially suspended without pay, but on Friday Macron fired his former security adviser. Those who detained were suspected of unlawfully receiving police surveillance records to clear their name.

He is due to face a magistrate on Sunday, prosecutors said.

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has been heavily criticized by some opposition legislators who claim that his work is at stake after a press report he knew about Benalla's violence.

Collomb will be detained Monday morning at 10:00 am (0800 GMT) by the National Law Commission,

Also on Saturday, three police officers were arrested and suspected of providing surveillance material to Benalla. They too will be standing in front of a magistrate on Sunday.

– "Violation of Professional Secrets" –

Accused of "misappropriating images from a video surveillance system" as well as a "violation of professional secrets" The prosecution said

The Paris Police Prefecture said the footage was in the evening July 18, "illegally disclosed to a third party," the same night the newspaper Le Monde published the video that had triggered the scandal] This video recorded on a smartphone showed Benalla with a protective police helmet and surrounded by officers demonstrating during a protest abused a demonstration on May 1 and attacked a demonstrator.

In a second video released late Thursday by Benalla newspaper 47 Never was a police officer – you can also see a young woman violently while fighting in a square near the R Mouffetard, a picturesque street in the fifth arrondissement, rambling to the ground.

The three senior officers taken into custody belong to the Paris Department of Public Order and Transport, include a deputy chief of staff and a commissioner in the fifth arrondissement, as well as the commander for relations between the prefecture and the Elysee Palace, said several sources near the case.

Benalla's apartment in the southwestern suburbs of Paris was raided on Saturday.

Vincent Crase, a security adviser to Macron's Republic on the Move party and an associate of Benalla, who also intervened during the protest rally in May, was also arrested on Friday

The Paris prosecutor said on Saturday that custody of Benalla and Crase had been extended by 24 hours.


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