French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb gestures as he arrives for a hearing with the deputies of the Laws Commission concerning the case of President Macron's security aide Alexandre Benalla, at the National Assembly in Paris, France, Monday, July 23, 2018. Investigators have detained for questioning on Friday, July 20, 2018 one of President Emmanuel Macron's top security aides caught on camera beating a protester in May, a turn of events now evolving into a major political crisis for the president. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

French minister defends himself over violence of Macron aide

July 23, 2018 - 8:27 am

PARIS (AP) — France's interior minister has insisted that it wasn't for him to inform judicial officials of violence by a presidential security aide against a May Day protester even though he was informed the following day.

Answering questions Monday from lawmakers, Gerard Collomb said his top aide informed him of a video showing Alexandre Benalla beating up a protester and that both the president's office and police chief had been informed.

The minister said he was later told that the office of President Emmanuel Macron had taken sanctions against Benalla and it wasn't his job to do more.

The failure to immediately inform judicial officials has developed into a major political crisis for President Emmanuel Macron.

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This story has been corrected to show that interior minister informed of violence by his top aide rather than by president's office.