Police raid disgraced Macron aide’s office

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Paris, July 26 (IANS) French police have searched the office of a former senior security aide embroiled in a scandal at the Elysée Palace.

Alexandre Benalla, 26, was fired last week and faces several charges after footage emerged showing him assault demonstrators at May Day protests, BBC reported on Wednesday.

The president’s office said the former bodyguard was present for the search.

President Emmanuel Macron has spoken for the first time on the scandal — lashing out at press coverage of it.

He told guests at a closed-door reception on Tuesday evening: “We have a media that does not seek the truth… I see a media power that want to be a judicial power.”

“What happened on May 1 is terrible, serious, and for me it was a disappointment and a betrayal,” Macron told lawmakers.

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“The only person responsible for this affair is me,” he said. “If they’re looking for someone to hold responsible, he’s right in front of you. They can come and get me.”

Lawmakers have been demanding to know why the presidency did not act sooner as the interior minister admitted he knew of the video on 2 May.

Macron again criticised members of the media on Wednesday, telling journalists from two outlets: “You’ve been saying a whole lot of nonsense over the past few days.”

–IANS

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