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Faces of Damien Tarel who slapped President Macron

Damien Tarel, who slapped French President, Emmanuel Macron will appear before a judge in a fast-track trial on Thursday.

Damien, a 28-year old has been in custody since Tuesday when the incident happened.

He is to be convicted of assaulting a public figure when he appears before a magistrate in the southern town of Valence.

According to a statement by Alex Perrin a local prosecutor, Damien had acknowledged striking Macron while the president was on a visit to a professional training college.

However, he told investigators it was not premeditated.

He maintained that he acted out of impulse and ‘without thinking’ to express his discontent the prosecutor noted.

The charges against Damien reportedly carry a maximum three-year jail sentence and a fine of 45,000 euros ($55,000).

However, the court will take into account the defendant’s clean criminal record and any expression of remorse.

The unemployed 28-year-old during interrogation confessed he had been close to the anti-government gilets Jaunes (yellow vests) protest movement.

The movement shook the Macron presidency and held ultra-rightwing political beliefs.

Damien’s attack on the president stunned the country. The video clip where he slapped the president went viral in minutes.

Macron later described it as an isolated incident and said violence and hate were a threat to democracy.

Damien was arrested at the scene of the incident with a second man from his hometown of Saint-Vallier.

Police searched Damien’s home where they uncovered weapons, a Soviet flag, a copy of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, fantasy novels, Japanese comics and simulation games.

In the immediate aftermath a police source had claimed Damien was ‘anarchist,’ but detectives are now working on the basis he subscribes to a sort of ‘ideological mush,’ Le Parisien newspaper reported.

The second man will not face any charges related to the slapping but will be prosecuted for illegal possession of arms in 2022.

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