The man who was caught on video hitting French President Emmanuel Macron in the face earlier this week has been given a four-month prison sentence.
In an emergency, Damien Tarel, 28, was found guilty of violence against a person invested with public authority after the incident that took place in the winery town of Tain-l’Hermitage on Tuesday. Macron held a meeting-and-greeting with the public, and Tarel was quickly arrested after the ironing.
“When I saw his friendly, lying gaze, I felt disgust and I got a violent reaction,” Tarel told a court, according to the Associated Press. “It was an impulsive reaction … I was even surprised by the violence.”
YOU SLAPM THE MACRON ON THE FACE, VIDEO SHOWS
While Tarel said he and his friends had considered bringing an egg or a cream cake to throw at the president, he said they dropped the idea – insisting the battle was not deliberate.
“I think Emmanuel Macron represents the decline of our country,” Tarel added without elaborating.
During the incident, Tarel was heard shouting “Montjoie! Saint Denis!” a centuries-old royalist war war before ending with “A bas la Macronie” or “Down with Macron.”
The court in the southeastern city of Valence on Thursday sentenced Tarel to four months in prison and a further 14-month suspended sentence, while also banning him from ever holding public office and from owning weapons for five years.
Tarel told the court he supported the Yellow West economic protest movement that shook Macron’s presidency in 2019. He told investigators he had political beliefs about right or ultra-right without being a member of a party or group, according to prosecutors.
FRENCH POLITICAL SHOT KNIFEING MAN
Macron would not comment on the trial Thursday, but insisted that “nothing justifies violence in a democratic society, ever.”
“It’s not so much to get a slap when walking towards a crowd to say hello to some people who waited a long time,” he said in an interview with the television station BFM-TV. “We must not make the act of stupidity and violence more important than it is.”
At the same time, the president added: “We must not make it banal, because everyone with public authority has the right to respect.”
Another man arrested in the accident that followed the battle, identified by the prosecutor as Arthur C., will be convicted at a later date in 2022 of illegal possession of a weapon.
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Prosecutors said that in addition to finding weapons, police searching Arthur C.’s home also found books on the art of war, a copy of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf”, and two flags, one symbolizing Communists and another of the Russian Revolution. .
Neither Tarel nor Arthur C., also 28, had police records, the prosecutor said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.