French investigators on Saturday July 21st raided the house of one of President Emmanuel Macron’s former top security aides, a man who was caught on camera beating a young protester in May.
Alexandre Benalla's involvement in the beating and questions about the government's handling of the affair is turning into Macron's biggest political crisis since he took office last year.
According to AP, the presidential Elysee Palace fired bodyguard Benalla a day before police raided his home on Saturday morning in the Parisian suburb of Issy-Les-Moulineaux, according to the Paris prosecutor's office.
Benalla was identified earlier this week by the Le Monde newspaper for beating a young protester during the May Day protests while wearing a police helmet. He and a second man are facing potential charges and are in police custody until Sunday.
Regular parliamentary work has been paralysed for two days with questions about why it took two and a half months to inform judicial officials and why Benalla stayed in his post during that time. Questions over whether there was an official cover-up of his actions have also been raised and whether Elysee employees have a measure of impunity not granted to others.
French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb will face questions from parliament next week to see if the government failed to properly discipline Benalla.
Despite his official change to a desk job, Benalla was seen this month on the ground with police at several high-profile events, including the return home on Monday of France's soccer World Cup-winning team.