France investigates ex-Macron aide’s diplomatic passports

PARIS (AP) — The Paris prosecutor’s office is investigating the possible misuse of diplomatic passports by a former security aide to French President Emmanuel Macron.

Alexandre Benalla was fired in July for beating a protester. News outlets in France are reporting that Benalla allegedly used his diplomatic passports to travel to Africa this month — five months after he was sacked and asked to surrender the documents.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said Saturday a preliminary investigation has been opened into possible breach of trust and misuse of an official document.

Benalla has not publicly commented on the passports since the reports came out this week. He has said the Africa trip was private.

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Earlier revelations about the French government’s handling of the protester’s May Day beating, including Benalla’s two-week suspension, caused Macron’s first major presidential crisis.

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