Man who slapped Macron gets four-month jail sentence
Damien Tarel, the man who slapped Macron in the face has been sentenced to four months in prison by a French court.
The 28-year-old man was quickly arrested after slapping the French President on Tuesday.
After the incident, Tarel acknowledged hitting the president with a “rather violent” slap. “When I saw his friendly, lying look, I felt disgusted, and I had a violent reaction,” he told the court. “It was an impulsive reaction … I was surprised myself by the violence.”
He insisted that the slap was not premeditated and that he and his friends had considered bringing a cream pie or an egg to throw at the French leader.
“I think that Emmanuel Macron represents the decline of our country,” he said, without explaining what he meant.
A second suspect who recorded the incident is facing prosecution for illegal possession of weapons after local authorities searched his home. He comes from the same town as Damien Tarel.
Macron did not comment on the trial but said: “Nothing justifies violence in a democratic society, never.”
“It’s not such a big deal to get a slap when you go toward a crowd to say hello to some people who were waiting for a long time,” he said in an interview with broadcaster BFM-TV. “We must not make that stupid and violent act more important than it is.”
The French president further added, “We must not make it banal, because anyone with public authority is entitled to respect.”
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