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Ilan Halimi (Archives) Photo: Haim Tzach
Ilan Halimi (Archives) Photo: Haim Tzach
 
Threw shoes at lawyers. Youssouf Fofana Photo: AP
Threw shoes at lawyers. Youssouf Fofana Photo: AP
 
 

France to re-try gangsters over Jewish man's murder

Following Justice Minister's appeal for longer jail terms, Paris court orders another trial in about a year for 14 0f 25 members of gang that kidnapped, murdered Ilan Halimi

Reuters
Published: 07.13.09, 19:44 / Israel News

A Paris appeals court on Monday ordered the re-trial of members of a gang found guilty last week of kidnapping and torturing to death a young Jewish man, on the grounds that their sentences were too lenient.

 

Following a rare intervention by Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, who asked the public prosecutor to appeal for longer jail terms, the court decided to re-try 14 of the 25 members of the gang who were sentenced.

 

"The 14 received sentences that were more lenient than those requested by the public prosecutor," a spokesman for the prosecution said.

 

They include a girl who lured 23-year-old Ilan Halimi into the Paris suburb where he was abducted by the self-proclaimed "gang of barbarians" and tortured for more than three weeks.

 

Prosecutors had requested a jail term of 10-12 years for the girl, but she was sentenced to nine years as she was a minor at the time of the crime, in 2006.

 

No remorse

The new trial will take place in about a year.

 

In a case that shocked France and highlighted rising anti-Semitism on the poor suburban estates around Paris, gang leader Youssouf Fofana was jailed for life on Friday -- the maximum penalty under French law, with a minimum period in jail of 22 years. He will not be retried.

 

Twenty-four other members received sentences ranging from six months suspended to 18 years in prison. Two were acquitted.

 

Jewish organizations have demanded stiffer punishment for many of the gang members to send a strong signal against anti-Semitism.

 

The gang abducted Halimi, unsuccessfully tried to extort a ransom, tortured him until he was close to death and then dumped him near a railway station. He died shortly after he was found.

 

Fofana, a 28-year-old of Ivorian origin, expressed no remorse, instead showing defiance throughout the trial.

 

On various occasions he smirked at Halimi's relatives, shouted "Allahu Akbar!" ("God is the Greatest!) and at one point threw shoes at lawyers.

 

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