A French court on Thursday pronounced the attacker who slapped President Emmanuel Macron guilty of physical aggression and sentenced him to four months in prison with deprivation of civic rights for three years.
Damien Tarel, 28-year-old resident of Drome region, was put on trial in a court in Valence city, southeast France, two days after the incident when he slapped the head of the state visiting the village of Tain l'Hermitage.
According to local media reports, the court announced a sentence of 18 months in prison, of which 14 months were with a probationary suspension of two years.
Tarel will be required to spend four months incarcerated in a closed prison.
During these two years, he will have to undergo psychological counselling. He was also banned from holding any public office for life, possessing weapons for five years, and deprived of civil rights for three years.
A BFMTV report said Tarel who appeared in the court did not contest the facts but admitted to regretting the action which was a “slightly impulsively” reaction.
He said he and his friend had planned to do “something striking” to challenge Macron on political matters like throwing an egg or a custard pie but he eventually changed his mind.
He added that as the president approached him to shake his hand, the “elective approach” of targeting someone young like him because it suits Macron’s political campaign, “filled him with disgust.”
“This slap would not have taken place if Macron had not gone directly to me,” he said in his statement, adding that "otherwise I would have questioned him directly on political issues."
Tarel said he felt invested in the Yellow Vests movement by the common French people, but their views were not listened to and that “Macron represents the downfall of the country.”
Macron once again called the slapping act “foolish and violent” and linked it with social media behavior.
“We get used to a hatred on social networks which then normalizes, and when we meet face to face, we have the impression that it is the same thing, that is unacceptable,” he said in an interview with BFMTV on Thursday.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.