January 17, 2019 / 1:56 PM / 7 months ago

Macron's ex-bodyguard in custody over use of diplomatic passports

FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron and his then senior security officer Alexandre Benalla arrive at an elementary school to attend a one-hour interview with French news channel TF1, in Berd'huis, France, April 12, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Alexandre Benalla, the former bodyguard and security adviser of French President Emmanuel Macron, has been placed in custody in relation to a probe into his use of diplomatic passports, said the Paris prosecutor’s office.

Benalla, who was fired last year after a video emerged of him attacking a May Day protester, was back in the spotlight for consultancy work in African countries and his acknowledgment that he had continued to use diplomatic passports.

Paris prosecutors had opened a preliminary inquiry into Benalla’s holding of the diplomatic passports even though the former bodyguard said he had handed them over when he was fired and got them back through the president’s staff in October.

Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by John Irish

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