The man who slapped French President Emmanuel Macron across the face this week has been jailed for 18 months, 14 of which were suspended.
The 28-year-old Damien Tarel, a medieval history enthusiast, has been in custody since the assault on Tuesday which a prosecutor called “absolutely unacceptable” and “an act of deliberate violence”.
Earlier, Tarel told the court in Valence in southern France, that he acted because the president stood for all that was rotten with France.
Tarel said that several days ahead of Macron’s visit to the Drome region of southern France, he had thought about throwing an egg or a cream tart at the president, but added the slap was not premeditated. He told the court, according to BFM TV:
_I think that Macron represents very neatly the decay of our country. If I had challenged Macron to a duel at sunrise, I doubt he would have responded._
- French President Macron Slapped In The Face During Trip To South
- Zimbabwean prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa “named” France’s next president
Macron has described the attack as an isolated incident and said violence and hate were a threat to democracy.
His office 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 three years in jail and a 45 000 euro fine.
He was arrested along with a second man from his hometown of Saint-Vallier.
Police found weapons, a copy of Adolf Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto Mein Kampf and a red flag with a golden hammer and a sickle that is the symbol of the communist movement in the second man’s home.
The second man will not face any charges related to the slapping but will be prosecuted for illegal possession of arms in 2022.