Man who slapped Macron to go on trial
A 28-year-old man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron will be tried on Thursday, facing possible jail time and a fine if found guilty of assaulting a public official.
Damien Tarel was quickly arrested after the swipe Tuesday that caught Macron in the face with an audible thwack as the French leader was greeting a crowd in southeast France.
Tarel told investigators that he struck without thinking, the prosecutor’s office said. He is due Thursday afternoon in court in Valence, in France's Rhone Valley, The AP reported.
The charge of violence against a person invested with public authority is punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of 45,000 euros ($54,000).
Videos showed Macron's attacker slapping the French leader's left cheek and his bodyguards pushing the man away during a quick meet-and-greet with members of the public, who were kept back behind traffic barriers in the winemaking town of Tain-l’Hermitage.
Tarel told investigators he was close to the yellow vest economic protest movement that shook Macron's presidency in 2019 and also held right- or ultra-right political convictions without being a member of a party or group, according to the prosecutor’s office.