Russian artist Pyotr Pavlensky under investigation over France explicit video scandal

Pyotr Pavlensky-File photo

PARIS: French prosecutors on Tuesday placed a Russian artist and his girlfriend under official investigation over the leaking of a sex video that brought down a close ally of President Emmanuel Macron.

Pyotr Pavlensky and Alexandra de Taddeo are facing charges of invasion of privacy and publishing images of a sexual nature without consent over the leaking of the video that forced the governing party´s Benjamin Griveaux to end his campaign to become mayor of Paris.

Pavlensky is also being probed over an knife fight at a New Year´s Eve party in Paris.

Paris prosecutors on Tuesday requested he be placed in detention over that incident.

Pavlensky, 35, and de Taddeo, 29, were taken into custody on Saturday and questioned for two days. They will be brought before an investigating magistrate later Tuesday to face possible charges.

Pavlensky, an artist and activist who fled Russia in 2017, has already admitted publishing the video. 

De Taddeo is believed to have been the recipient of the video and messages, which were uploaded onto a website created by Pavlensky and widely shared on social media.

Griveaux, a married father of three and former government spokesman, pulled out of the running for Paris mayor after the scandal broke.

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