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Benalla, ace of resourcefulness become king of confusion – the trial of Alexandre Benalla

For a long time, he was only the shadow of Emmanuel Macron, his stocky figure, his short beard and his black eyes relegated to the background of the photos, before becoming the main subject. While he has barely celebrated his 30th birthday, Alexandre Benalla has associated his surname with the most embarrassing affair of the five-year Macron period, whose aftershocks have hampered the smooth march of power.

Coming from a popular district of Évreux (Eure), this son of professors, holder of a law degree, quickly turned to the security professions, his passion. In 2010, he joined the PS order service, formed by its emblematic leader Eric Plumer, who remembers a young man “calm and composed”, “very serious in the missions” assigned.

After having accompanied, for a time, Martine Aubry, Alexandre Benalla worked briefly for Arnaud Montebourg, then Minister of Productive Recovery: “I separated after a week after a professional misconduct of the first seriousness: it had caused a car accident in my presence and wanted to flee, ”he said.

“It’s the Swiss Army Knife”

Alexandre Benalla arrives in Macronie in early July 2016, recruited by Ludovic Chaker, then secretary general of En Marche. First a volunteer, he was hired in the fall by the movement to ensure the safety of Emmanuel Macron and quickly became a known and appreciated figure.

“He was spotted as someone who solved how-to issues very effectively. He thinks of everything, it’s the Swiss army knife, ”testifies a pillar of the campaign and close to the President. “He was there all the time. He came to open the office at 6.30 am if no one had taken the security desk slot. He was the one who was doing the night if no one else was doing it, ”replies another.

In the countryside, in certain tense situations such as the Whirlpool factory in Amiens (Somme), Alexandre Benalla is also the one who tells the candidate “it is possible” when the police officers responsible for the protection of Emmanuel Macron are reluctant. In this, the Head of State will remain grateful to him: “Whatever happens in this affair, I do not have to forget this commitment”, launches the President when the affair breaks out.

“He wanted all the gadgets”

Rewarded by a post of charge of mission to the chief cabinet, assigned to presidential travel, Alexandre Benalla interferes in the flaw of the system: “He wanted all the gadgets”, sighs an adviser of the Palace. Diplomatic passports, access badge to the Assembly Chamber, official car, etc.

Reservist in the gendarmerie, he also obtained, in 2017, the high rank of lieutenant-colonel. And a weapon is allocated to him, despite a first refusal from the Ministry of the Interior.

Above all, he cultivates, with Vincent Crase, a friend of ten years, also employed in the security of the countryside and employee of En Marche, troubled friendships, as with the businessman Alexandre Djouhri.

Until being suspected of having concluded, in June 2018, a juicy contract of protection for the family of a sulphurous Russian oligarch. A “deal” now at the heart of an investigation by the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office.

At the same time, Alexandre Benalla is participating in a reflection on the overhaul of the security of the Elysee. Project which may have aroused enmities, in particular within the Ministry of the Interior.

A real soap opera

His downfall began when he was identified in a video, filmed during parades on May 1, 2018 and broadcast by Le Monde in July, in which he is identified assaulting a protester.

“He was let go by everyone. He is still awfully strong as a boy. “

A scandal which earned him to be heard by the Paris Criminal Court from this Monday, but which also became a real soap opera, fueled by press revelations, in particular on his meeting in Chad, in December 2018, with the President Déby in the role of emissary for an Israeli businessman.

Having become an entrepreneur, at the head of a company working in the field of economic and strategic intelligence, he loses his temper against a “machine to destroy (s) a reputation”. “He was let go by everyone. He is still awfully strong as a boy, ”breathes a friend. “I do not let myself be defeated, I do my best by myself”, claims Alexandre Benalla.

letelegramme Fr Trans