A 28-year-old Frenchman who described himself as a right-wing or extreme-right “patriot” has been sentenced to 4 months in prison for slapping President Emmanuel Macron in the face.
Damien Tarel was also banned from ever holding public office in France and from owning weapons for 5 years over the swipe on Tuesday, which caught Macron’s left cheek with an audible thwack as the French leader was greeting a crowd.
During Thursday’s trial, Tarel testified that the attack was impulsive and unplanned, and prompted by anger at France’s “decline”.
Macron wouldn’t comment on Thursday on the trial, but insisted that “nothing justifies violence in a democratic society, ever”.
“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. We must not make that stupid and violent act more important than it is… We must not make it banal, because anyone with public authority is entitled to respect”, - he said in an interview with broadcaster BFM-TV.