The Benalla case in court, three years after the revelations about the former employee of the Elysee

He was at the origin of the first earthquake that shook Macronie. Monday, September 13 and during twelve trial days spread over three weeks, Alexandre Benalla will face justice. The former head of mission at the Elysee will have to answer both for his actions, revealed by The world July 18, 2018, place de la Contrescarpe and the Jardin des Plantes, in Paris, on the sidelines of the parade of 1er_May 2018; of the way in which he sought to cover himself by exploiting images of the Paris Police Prefecture; and, finally, his use of diplomatic passports to which he should no longer have had access, for two dozen trips between the summer and the end of 2018.

It is in fact four men who will succeed one another at the bar of the first vice-president of the Paris court, Isabelle Prévost-Desprez. Besides Alexandre Benalla, his sidekick from 1er-May Vincent Crase is also implicated, as are two police officers, commissioner Maxence Creusat and divisional Laurent Simonin. All played an active role in the events of the 1er-May and in the dissemination of images supposed to exonerate Mr. Benalla and fraudulently extracted from the databases of the Prefecture of Police.

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Violent arrests

1er-May 2018 is marked, as every year, by a union parade in the streets of Paris. And it is peppered with violence, which leads to police actions. Place de la Contrescarpe, in the 5e arrondissement, is not the epicenter of these movements. At around 7 pm, some demonstrators came to set up a “militant aperitif”. Georgios D. and Chloé P. are not among them. The young couple came to eat a pancake. He attends a front row seat to an intervention by the CRS who, alerted to the risk of a barricade forming, surrounded the square. Enraged by what they saw, both threw projectiles at the police – which earned them a conviction in February 2019. Two people wearing a “police” helmet and armband – and a firearm for one of them – then throw themselves on them and call them out violently, punching and kicking them.

The scene is filmed by a videographer, Taha Bouhafs, who broadcasts it on social networks. He doesn’t know it yet, but the two men whose images he captured are not actually police officers. Working for one at the Elysee Palace and for the other within La République en Marche (LRM), Alexandre Benalla and Vincent Crase, friends since their meeting in 2009 as part of a formation of reservist gendarmes , are here as observers. They want a closer look at the “black blocs”, groups of far-left demonstrators who are supporters of clashes with the police.

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