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12 Nov, 2021 15:48

Soldier raped at France’s presidential palace – media

Soldier raped at France’s presidential palace – media

French prosecutors are reportedly investigating an allegation that a female member of President Emmanuel Macron's defense staff was raped by a colleague at the Elysee Palace back in July, after a farewell party for a general.

The incident is alleged to have taken place at the building that houses the president’s personal military staff on Rue de l’Elysee, the street next to the leader's office. The woman informed police of the situation immediately after it reportedly occurred on July 1.

The investigation into the woman’s report has apparently been ongoing since July 12. The alleged victim, who has not been named, is believed to have been attending the farewell party at the palace for Brigadier General Valery Putz, and said the assault took place afterwards.

According to reports of her claim, the alleged victim and attacker knew each other, having been assigned to the military staff and working together on a regular basis. The man accused of the assault was initially detained and interrogated, and has since been placed under ‘witness’ status while the investigation proceeds, AFP reported.

The Elysee Palace has not confirmed that any such investigation is underway, stating only that it never comments on ongoing police inquiries. However, it told Reuters that measures including psychological support for the complainant and reassignment of the accused “were immediately taken” after the allegations were raised with officials.

The report of the investigation comes days after Macron’s former bodyguard was handed a three-year sentence for an entirely unrelated incident. Alexandre Benalla, who used to protect Macron, was convicted of assaulting two protesters during a 2018 protest, as well as faking documents and illegally carrying a firearm.

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