French senators demand probe of Macron aides in Benalla affair

French senators urged an investigation into three top aides to President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, saying there was reason to believe they had withheld information from an official inquiry into a scandal involving Macron’s former bodyguard.

Delivering a scathing report after the seven-month inquiry into the so-called Benalla Affair, named for former security aide Alexandre Benalla who was caught on film beating a protester on May 1 last year, the senators said they had uncovered a number of questionable practices.

As well as doubts about the testimony of senior aides, the senate’s investigative committee said it had reason to believe Benalla may have lied to them under oath, and it called for prosecutors to investigate both charges.

“What happened on May Day now appears to be the tip of the iceberg,” Philippe Bas, a senator from the opposition centre-right Les Republicains party and head of the investigative committee, told reporters.

In response, French government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux said Macron’s office would in due course reply to the “many untrue elements” in the Senate’s findings.