Macron ex-bodyguard ‘questione

A protester wearing a Yellow Vest (Gilet Jaune) holds a sign reading “Benalla and Andrieux (respectively referring to the French President’s disgraced ex-bodyguard and a French police officer who appeared in a video posted online showing him batter a man during a rally) are free while Christophe Dettinger is in jail (referring to French boxer Christophe Dettinger who punched two French gendarmes last week), Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” during an anti-government demonstration called by the Yellow Vests “Gilets Jaunes” movement next to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, on 12 January, 2019. – France braced for a fresh round of “yellow vest” protests on 12 January, 2019 across the country with the authorities vowing zero tolerance for violence after weekly scenes of rioting and vandalism in Paris and other cities over the past two months. Photo: Thomas SAMSON / AFP

Macron ex-bodyguard ‘questioned over Russia contract’

The disgraced ex-bodyguard of French President Emmanuel Macron was detained by police on Tuesday and questioned over a security contract signed by an associate with a Russian oligarch.

Macron ex-bodyguard ‘questione

A protester wearing a Yellow Vest (Gilet Jaune) holds a sign reading “Benalla and Andrieux (respectively referring to the French President’s disgraced ex-bodyguard and a French police officer who appeared in a video posted online showing him batter a man during a rally) are free while Christophe Dettinger is in jail (referring to French boxer Christophe Dettinger who punched two French gendarmes last week), Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” during an anti-government demonstration called by the Yellow Vests “Gilets Jaunes” movement next to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, on 12 January, 2019. – France braced for a fresh round of “yellow vest” protests on 12 January, 2019 across the country with the authorities vowing zero tolerance for violence after weekly scenes of rioting and vandalism in Paris and other cities over the past two months. Photo: Thomas SAMSON / AFP

Alexandre Benalla, who was fired in 2018 after being filmed assaulting protesters, was detained by specialised anti-corruption police along with his wife as part of an investigation into the business dealings of his former associate, Vincent Crase, the sources said.

Crase, an ex-policeman who once handled security for Macron’s political party, told investigators in 2019 that the deal with Russian oligarch Iskander Makhmudov covered security for him and his children in France and Monaco.

Benalla denied having anything to do with the contract when he was auditioned by a parliamentary committee in 2018. 

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SAD ENDING FOR THE BOUNCER

The 30-year-old former nightclub bouncer was once close to Macron, but has since become an embarrassment for the head of state.

French investigators are probing possible money laundering and corruption in the deal between Crase’s company and Makhmudov, who is reputed to be close to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

The Mediapart investigative website reported in December 2019 that the deal was worth 294,000 euros ($333,000).

Last month, Benalla was convicted for assaulting two young demonstrators during an anti-capitalist demonstration in 2018, as well for faking documents and illegally carrying a firearm.

© Agence France-Presse