Macron’s former bodyguard detained – reports — Analysis
Alexandre Benalla has been taken into custody as an ex-bodyguard to the French President. He is accused of being linked to a security deal with a Russian Oligarch that was signed by an associate.
French media reported that Benalla and his spouse were taken into custody for suspicion of corruption. It was part of an investigation into security deals with Russian billionaire businessman.
According to security sources, Benalla was taken into custody by the anti-corruption officers as part of an investigation into Vincent Crase’s dealings.
Former policeman Crase, who ran the security operations of French President Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche! The party also signed a contract of security with Russian oligarch Iskander Mackmudov. Crase claimed that the contract provided security for Makhmudov, his children in France, and Monaco.
In 2018, Benalla, who was being interviewed by a parliamentary panel denied that he had anything to do the contract.
French investigators now investigate possible corruption and money laundering linked to the contract as well as Benalla’s role in it.
According to French media, authorities are investigating whether Benalla used his position at the Élysée Palace to secure the contract with Makhmudov.
Mediapart is a French investigative site that claimed December 2019 the Makhmudov contract had a value of 294,000 Euros ($333,000).
Benalla (30 years old) was an ex-nightclub bouncer and has been a source of embarrassment for the Macron government. In 2018, he was found guilty of attacking two youth demonstrators at an anti-capitalist protest.