The man who punched French President Emmanuel Macron in the face on Tuesday has to go to prison for four months. In addition, he is sentenced to a suspended prison sentence of fourteen months, as the court decided. The head of state got the blow when he greeted a small crowd during a working visit to the south of France. The French Public Prosecutor had demanded a year and a half in prison.
Damien Tarel (28) was found guilty by the court in Valence of the assault of an official, with a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros. He‘s been in prison since he took the blow in Tain-l’Hermitage, a small town south of Lyon. The man stood behind a temper with a number of other people and hit Macron when the politician greeted him. Before the blow, he criticized Macron‘s policy.
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According to the prosecutor’s office, Tarel‘s action is “absolutely unacceptable” and “an act of deliberate violence.” Tarel stated in court that a few days before Macron’s visit, he considered throwing an egg or whipped cream cake at the president. He said he had no intention of hitting him. The man also said that the president stands “for the decline of France.” He has no ties to political or militant groups.
Besides Tarel, a second suspect was arrested. This man will not be prosecuted for the Macron incident, but he will be prosecuted for illegal possession of weapons. In the investigation, weapons and a copy of Adolf Hitler‘s Mein Kampf were found at his home.
The incident at Tain-l’Hermitage has been condemned by all the political parties in France. Macron himself spoke of an isolated incident and said that violence and hatred pose a threat to democracy. Prime Minister Jean Castex called it an insult to democracy.