“A balance of any account, to make the Benalla affair disappear before the judgment of a man aged 26 at the time of the facts”, this is what the prosecutor Yves Bardoc wished, Thursday, September 30, after an indictment of almost four hours, conducted by two votes with his colleague Aude Duret.
Despite the magnitude of a case of “Almost ten thousand pages”, who requested twelve days of hearing at the 10e chamber of the Paris Criminal Court, the requests of the public prosecutor did not go beyond the simple suspension, considering that the Benalla case has already been “Judged by the court of opinion”, and his defendants “Branded with social networks”.
Unsurprisingly, the heaviest sentence was demanded against the former head of mission at the Elysee: eighteen months suspended prison sentence was required against Mr. Benalla, as well as a ban on exercising the public service for five years and holding a weapon for ten years, and finally a fine of 500 euros.
The prosecution is asking for his conviction for the violent arrests of 1er May 2018, at the Jardin des Plantes and on the Place de la Contrescarpe. Only the wearing of a “police” armband escaped the request for a conviction by the prosecution.
“We must always let the professionals do it”
The prosecutor requested the same conviction of Vincent Crase, then reservist gendarme at the Elysee Palace and in charge of security within the presidential party La République en Marche (LRM), asking for a year of suspended prison sentence and the ban during fifteen years of owning a gun.
In their indictment, the two prosecutors saw in Mr. Benalla a “Janusian figure”, shared between “The recognized project manager” and “Alex, the young man who does not have the codes of the administration” and sometimes wants “Impose a little too much”, up to “ give the impression of getting lost “, as in the case of the false document used to obtain diplomatic passports, for which the prosecution requests a conviction, as well as for the “selfie” showing, in 2017, Alexandre Benalla with a firearm for which he did not have permit.
At the heart of the matter, the violence committed on several people on the sidelines of the demonstrations of the 1er May 2018, Mr. Bardoc devoted a good part of his indictment to sweeping aside the argument raised by MM. Benalla and Crase, who invoke Article 73 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, according to which any citizen who witnesses a crime or misdemeanor can arrest the perpetrator. “The police officers are agents of public authority, that is why they can use these powers” deprivation or restriction of liberty, he recalled, considering that the arrests carried out by the two men at the Jardin des Plantes and Place de la Contrescarpe had taken place while many police officers were present.
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