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Benalla affair: Another breaking scandal

Scandals involving Alexandre Benalla have been ongoing. It has now come to light that his companion reportedly tried to hide that she was working for President Macron's party.

Published: January 5, 2019, 8:21 am

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    Paris

    On Friday French conservative magazine 20 Minutes revealed that Myriam B, the companion of Alexandre Bennalla was a salaried employee of La République en marche (LREM). But she tried to hide the fact from investigators.

    While the controversy around Benalla was raging in the press, his partner, Myriam B, was employed by LREM, the party movement founded by Emmanuel Macron, the newspaper stated.

    According to the edition, LREM has even confirmed this information, without specifying whether she still remains employed.

    The media also said that the companion of Benalla, born in 1985, had tried to hide this information from investigators. The investigating unit known as the Brigade de répression de la délinquance contre les personnes (BRDP) questioned her as a witness on September 28 in the Eure, where she had been hiding at the home of a close relative.

    At the time, this young woman presented herself as an “administrative agent currently on sick leave” and refused to give the name of the “association” that employed her

    The author of the article suggested that the investigators probably then linked this information to the statements made earlier by a safety officer from La Republique en marche , Reynald C.

    He said at a hearing that Alexandre Benalla had only “very rarely” come to the party headquarters while working at the Élysée. He allegedly also stated that Benalla presented himself because of “leave from work of his companion”.

    A few weeks before the beginning of this whole affair, Myriam B was on maternity leave until 20 September 2018. Then she had taken sick leave again, according to her own statements.

    It was impossible to know exactly what her duties were in the political movement. LREM has confirmed her status as an employee, but the party has refused to reveal more information citing “human resources” issues, thus not excluding that both Benalla and his friend Myriam are receiving money from the party.

    It was not in the corridors of the Macronian party that she had met Alexandre Benalla. Invited by the investigators to talk about Benalla, Myriam B explained that she had been with him for four years without revealing which of the two had joined the political movement first before the other was also hired.

    On the merits of the case, however, the young woman will have been of no use to the investigators. Indicating in turn that she was “traumatized”, “disoriented” and “tired” by all the controversy, she explained that her companion never spoke to her about her work.

    It is therefore impossible for her to reveal what happened to the safe that the police did not find during the search carried out on July 20. “What I’m sure of is that when I left the apartment [July 19], the safe was still there. I do not know what happened next. Asked about it, Alexandre Benalla said he sent “a friend” to collect all the valuables from his home.

    Benalla has since refused to reveal the identity of the “friend”.

    The disgraced bodyguard has remained in contact not only with the French President but also with the First Lady, according to Le Parisien. The daily said that the entourage of Brigitte Macron denied these allegations however.

    After the publication of Benalla’s interview with Mediapart, Le Parisien publishd new information on contacts between the French President and his former collaborator. Indeed, the latter also exchanged messages with Brigitte Macron.

    “According to our information, [Alexandre Benalla, ed] also confided to have shared SMSs with the First Lady, which formally denies being in the entourage of the latter”, it stated.

    These allegations aroused a strong reaction on social media with most speculating that “there is no smoke without fire”.

    At the end of December, Alexandre Benalla told Mediapart that he had exchanged views regularly with Emmanuel Macron “on various themes”. Following his revelations, the Élysée said on BFM TV that the former employee wanted to take revenge for his dismissal.

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