A court ordered a man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron across the face this week to serve 4 months in jail, BFM Television reported.
Damien Tarel, 28, an unemployed fan of medieval swordsmanship who mentioned he is a suitable-wing sympathiser, attacked Macron when the French president was shaking hands with members of the public for the duration of a walkabout on Tuesday.
The court gave Tarel a sentence of 18 months in jail, but 14 of these months had been suspended, the broadcaster reported.
Earlier, Tarel told the court in Valence in southern France, that he acted simply because the president stood for all that was rotten with France, the news channel mentioned.
Tarel mentioned that numerous days ahead of Macron’s stop by to the Drome area of southern France, he had believed about throwing an egg or a cream tart at the president, but added the slap was not premeditated.
“I think that Macron represents very neatly the decay of our country,” he told the court, according to BFM Television. “If I had challenged Macron to a duel at sunrise, I doubt he would have responded.”
Macron has described the attack as an isolated incident and mentioned violence and hate had been a threat to democracy. His workplace did not respond to a request for comment on Tarel’s courtroom remarks.
Tarel faced a charge of assault against a public official, an offence which carries a maximum sentence of 3 years in jail and a 45,000 euro fine.
Tarel struck Macron immediately after the president came more than to greet a smaller crowd of onlookers immediately after going to a vocational college for the duration of a trip to take the pulse of the nation as it emerges from the pandemic and ahead of presidential elections in 2022.
Macron reached out to Tarel who was standing behind a safety barrier, Tarel then shouted “Down with Macronia” (“A Bas La Macronie”) and slapped Macron on the left side of his face.
He could also be heard shouting “Montjoie Saint Denis”, the army’s battle cry when France was nevertheless a monarchy.
“It’s a patriot’s slogan,” he was quoted as telling the court.
Tarel told police investigators that he had been close to the anti-government “yellow vest” protest movement which shook the Macron presidency, and held ultra-suitable wing political beliefs.
Acquaintances of Tarel described a man who loved period function-play and was not a problems-maker. The prosecutor mentioned he was not a member of any political or terrorist group.
Tarel was arrested along with a second man from his hometown of Saint-Vallier.
Police discovered 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, regional prosecutor Alex Perrin mentioned.
The second man will not face any charges connected to the slapping but will be prosecuted for illegal possession of arms in 2022.