French prosecutors investigate alleged rape at president's Elysée Palace

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Prosecutors have opened an inquiry into allegations that a woman in President Macron's defence staff was raped by a serviceman colleague following a farewell party at the Elysée Palace last July.

The alleged assault took place after a going-away reception for a general and two others that was attended by President Emmanuel Macron, according to French daily Libération, which first reported the accusations.

According to the paper, the farewell reception began at the Elysée Palace. Macron gave a short speech and left atound 10:00pm. Some of the guests later went on to the premises of the president's personal military staff in an annex to the palace, which is where the attack allegedly took place.

According to Libération, the two soldiers – the alleged victim and alleged attacker – were colleagues deployed at the high-security office at the Elysée Palace where they dealt with sensitive government matters, most of them classified or top secret.

It said that the young woman filed the rape complaint at a nearby police station, and that the alleged accuser has been removed from duty at the Elysée.

The accused soldier was named an assistant witness after questioning by prosecutors on 12 July, a status indicating he remains subject to further interrogations but has not been formally charged, a judicial source told AFP.

Asked for comment, a presidential official told AFP that "as soon as the authorities were aware of these claims, measures were immediately taken" to support the alleged victim and "the person accused was immediately transferred far from the Elysée."

Defence Minister Florence Parly has ordered a parallel enquiry which could see him brought before a disciplinary committee, Libération said.

Around 325 military personnel are assigned to the Elysée, either for the general staff office or security.

(with AFP)

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