France: Former security aide to Macron in police custody

January 17, 2019
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FILE - In this Sept.19, 2018 file photo, former President Macron's security aide Alexandre Benalla appears before the French Senate Laws Commission prior to his hearing, in Paris. The Paris prosecutor office said Thursday Jan.17, 2019 a former security aide to French President Emmanuel Macron was in police custody Thursday in the investigation on the possible misuse of diplomatic passports. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

PARIS (AP) — The Paris prosecutor’s office says a former security aide to French President Emmanuel Macron has been taken into police custody in an investigation of possible misuse of diplomatic passports.

The prosecutor’s office said Thursday that its original investigation of Alexandre Benalla’s passport use was extended to an alleged forgery involving an official document. The French presidency flagged the document.

Benalla was fired in July 2018 following revelations he had received a two-week suspension for beating a protester at a May Day rally. French authorities have said he was asked to surrender his diplomatic passports when he was sacked.

Benalla acknowledged in a recent interview to French newspaper Journal du Dimanchehe that he used them to travel for his personal convenience after his firing.

The beating revelations caused Macron’s first major presidential crisis.

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