President Emmanuel Macron’s former security aide, Alexandre Benalla could be prosecuted for perjury. This is what a French Senate committee recommended after it carried out a seven-month investigation into the former aide’s violent conduct during a May Day protest last year.
The scandal was triggered by a video showing Benalla beating up a protester while dressed in police riot clothing in 2018. Benalla was suspended for two weeks at the time and then returned for work. It wasn't until the footage was on social media, that Benalla was sacked.
There were allegations of a cover-up after Macron and his senior aides were slow to come clean on the facts.
The senators said there were “major flaws” in the government’s handling of the scandal.
Philippe Bas, president of the Senate Inquiry Committee said, "We have gathered sufficient evidence to believe that the security of the president of the Republic has been compromised, and a series of errors, irregularities or failures have been noted"
"Insufficient sanctions from the outset, justice kept at bay, an illegally-acquired weapons permit, the carrying of a weapon by Mr Benalla in the presence of the president of the Republic, non-compliance with rules concerning ethics on conflicts of interest, the possession by Mr Benalla of an encrypted telephone and of diplomatic or service passports that have not been recovered, the absence of instructions to air and border police forbidding Mr Benalla to leave (the country) using these diplomatic or service passports."
"This already amounts to a lot, so much so, that the facts established on May 1 now appear to be the tip of the iceberg."
The Senate's president will decide whether to file a complaint with the prosecutor's office.
In France, lying to parliament under oath is punishable by up to five years in prison and a €75,000 fine.