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Man promptly sentenced in connection with slapping French President Macron

Neither Damien Tarel nor his associate had a criminal record. They thought that Macron represented "the decline of our country."

Updated: June 11, 2021 - 2:03pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron was in court on Thursday and received an 18 month sentence, with 14 of those months suspended, on a charge of violence against a person invested with public authority.

Damien Tarel, 28, slapped the president on Tuesday, and another man identified only as Arthur C. was with him and will be judged in 2022 for illegal possession of weapons, according to NBC News.

A prosecutor in the case says neither had police records, according to the Associated Press

The incident occurred in the southern French town of Tain-l’Hermitage, where Macron had stopped during a listening tour to hear citizens express their views about the state of the country.

Tarel told investigators he struck out without thinking. His motive are unclear. But his Medieval-era cry "Montjoie! Saint Denis!" as he slapped Macron’s cheek suggest an interest in a small royalist fringe movement. And social media posts show he followed royalist TV channels and some extreme-right figures, the wire service also reports.

A police search of the home of the man identifies as Arthur C uncovered weapons, old books on the art of war, a copy of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf,” and two flags, one symbolizing Communists and another of the Russian revolution, the prosecutor’s office said. 

Tarel told investigators he was close to the Yellow Vest movement for social and economic justice, but also held right- or ultra-right political convictions without being a member of a party or group, according to a statement by the prosecutor’s office, the Associated Press also reports. 

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