Damien Tarrell, the man who slapped Emmanuel Macron last Tuesday near Valencia, was sentenced on Thursday to four months in prison, three years’ deprivation of political rights – including the right to vote – and a lifetime ban on holding public office.
The trial of Tarrell, 28, was conducted under the express procedure. The hearing lasted approximately 45 minutes. Immediately after the announcement of the sentence, the convict was taken to prison in a police van. The sentence prevented him from leaving for a short time until he entered prison, so that Tarrell would not take advantage of this to make a political claim.
In fact, the sentence was 18 months in prison, but 14 of those were suspended. In addition to the deprivation of civil rights and a lifetime ban on holding public office, he will not be allowed to possess weapons for five years. He will also have to follow a psychological and social course.
Tarrell said his hostile gesture was not planned and that he regretted it, but that he was annoyed to see Macron addressing him, for electoral purposes. He also did not like the fact that many “yellow vests” had previously been expelled by the police. Tarrell was involved in the “yellow vest” uprising. His ideology is quite confused, but with signs of closeness to the far right.
It is clear that the decision was of an exemplary nature, to deter copycats, and that it took into account the tense and violent climate that France has experienced in recent years. President Macron himself said in a television interview today that the slap should be put in perspective but “not trivialised.”