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France

The embarrassing business trips of Alexandre Benalla

media Tchadian president Idriss Déby welcomes Emmanuel Macron to Tchad on December 23 AFP Photos/Ludovic Marin

The French president former top security aide made a short trip to Tchad, just a few days before Emmanuel Macron’s visit to meet the French troops in N’Djamena. Macron told the Tchadian president that Alexandre Benalla « was in no way an official or unofficial intermediary » according to French Daily le Monde. 

A few days before Emmanuel Macron's trip, Alexandre Benalla also went to Chad, along with half a dozen people. Private plane, luxury hotel, his trip did not go unnoticed, explains Le Monde.

Alexandre Benalla traveled to N'Djamena at the beginning of December for a short trip, where he reportedly met the brother of the Tchadian president Oumar Déby, head of the country's Directorate-General of Strategic Reserves (DGRS), according to La Lettre du Continent.

The former adviser to the president, who is facing two criminal charges after videos emerged of him manhandling demonstrators on May 1 in Paris while wearing a police helmet and armband, has apparently been making a new career in business.

At the time of the incident, revelations that top officials in Macron's office knew about the incidents but did not report Benalla to prosecutors earlier had prompted accusations of an attempted cover-up, which the government denied.

During his trip to Tchad, on December 22nd, Emmanuel Macron made a point of clarifying to Idriss Déby, the Tchadian president, that Benalla was no longer connected to the Elysee. "This person was in no way an unofficial or official intermediary" he said, adding  : "Only the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the diplomatic adviser to the President, Philippe Etienne, and Franck Paris, the president’s Africa adviser, are representing the head of state.

 

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