Damien Tarel Biography Damien Tarel Wiki
Damien Tarel, 28, was also sentenced to another 14-month suspended sentence, banned from ever holding public office and holding weapons for five years after beating Macron on an official visit to southeastern France Tuesday.
Prosecutors demand jail for Damien Tarel after he slapped French President Emmanuel Macron https://t.co/AJ2dzPuT6G
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 10, 2021
Damien Tarel arrested after the attack
Tarel was quickly arrested after the attack and the court in the city of Valence convicted him of acts of violence against a person charged with public authority.
Tarel, who describes himself as a right-wing or far-right “patriot” and a member of the yellow vests economic protest movement that rocked Macron’s presidency in 2018 and 2019, testified that the attack was impulsive, unplanned and out of anger at France’s “downfall”.
“When I saw his friendly, lying look, I felt disgusted and reacted violently,” he said in court. “It was an impulsive response … I was surprised by the violence myself.”
He calmly and calmly defended his “fairly violent” action and his views on Mr Macron resolutely, without giving details of what policy France should change.
He sat upright and showed no emotion when he was sentenced, but his girlfriend burst into tears.
While he said he and his friends considered bringing an egg or cream cake to toss the president, he said they dropped the idea and insisted that the slap was not premeditated.
“I think Emmanuel Macron represents the decline of our country,” he said without explaining what he meant.
He told investigators that he represented right-wing or far-right political beliefs without being a member of any party or group, prosecutors said.
The slap drew attention to a number of ultra-right groups that seething beneath the political landscape of France and which, despite their small following, are considered increasingly dangerous.
Mr Macron did not want to comment on the trial on Thursday but insisted that “violence is never justified in a democratic society”.
“It is not such a big deal to get a slap in the face when you walk up to a crowd to greet some people who have waited a long time,” he said in an interview with the broadcaster BFM-TV.
“We mustn’t make this stupid and violent act more important than it is.”
At the same time, the President added, “We must not make it banal, because everyone who has public authority is entitled to respect”.