A French court has sentenced a man, identified as Damien Tarel, to four months imprisonment for slapping the country’s President, Emmanuel Macron, unaware while the president was trying to discuss with gathered members of public earlier in the week.
The court directed that Tarel, 28, should be jailed for assaulting Macron though, the young man was said to had acted his claims that the president was responsible for alleged rotten in France.
It said, during a court session on Thursday in Valence, southern France, that the unemployed fan of medieval swordsmanship, claiming to be a right-wing sympathizer, was initially sentenced to 18 months jail term before later suspending it 14 months after consideration
Tarel confessed to the court that he had planning to attack Macros several days ahead of his visit to Drome region of southern France and that his initial aim was to throw an egg at the president.
The young man claimed that the slap was not premeditated
“I think that Macron represents very neatly the decay of our country,” he told the court, according to BFM TV. “If I had challenged Macron to a duel at sunrise, I doubt he would have responded.”
Meanwhile, the French president described the attack as an isolated incident and that violence and hate were a threat to democracy even though his office did not respond to a request for comment on Tarel’s courtroom remarks.
At the courtroom, Tarel was leveled assault charged against a public official, an offense which carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail and a 45,000 euro fine.
From series of videos that surfaced online after the incident, Tarel appeared in the clips that had struck Macron after the president came over to greet a small crowd of onlookers after visiting a vocational college during a trip to take the pulse of the country as it emerges from the pandemic and ahead of presidential elections in 2022.
After Tarel investigators after his arrest that he had been close to anti-government “yellow vest” protest movement which shook the Macron presidency, and held ultra-right wing political beliefs.
Although, people who know Tarel described the young man as a person who loved period role-play and was not a trouble-maker just as the prosecutor claimed that Tarel was not a member of any political or militant group.
Meanwhile, Tarel was arrested alongside another man from his hometown of Saint-Vallier in whose possession were weapons, a copy of Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto Mein Kampf and a red flag with golden hammer and sickle that is the symbol of the communist movement in the second man’s home.
From the report by local news houses, the second man may not face any charges related to the slapping but would be prosecuted for illegal possession of arms in 2022.