French President Emmanuel Macron
French President Emmanuel Macron
Photo: Reuters
Murder victim Sarah Halimi

Macron seeks change in French law after Jewish woman's murderer escapes trial

French president has previously criticized court's decision to exonerate Kobili Traore on grounds of drug-induced insanity after he killed his Jewish neighbor Sarah Halimi in 2017 by pushing her out of apartment window and shouting 'Allahu Akhbar'

AFP |
Published: 04.19.21 , 11:52
French President Emmanuel Macron urged a change in the country's law during an interview published Monday, after a man who murdered a Jewish woman in 2017 avoided a trial on the grounds he acted in delirium due to taking drugs.
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  • Jewish groups have reacted with outrage to the decision by France's highest court on Wednesday that Kobili Traore was not criminally responsible for the murder of Sarah Halimi.
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    Sarah Halimi
    Sarah Halimi
    Murder victim Sarah Halimi
    (Photo: JNC)
    Halimi, a 65-year-old Orthodox Jewish woman, died in 2017 after being pushed out of the window of her Paris flat by neighbor Traore, 27, who shouted "Allahu Akhbar" ("God is most great" in Arabic).
    Traore, a heavy pot smoker, has been in psychiatric care since Halimi's death and he remains there after the ruling.
    The court said he committed the killing after succumbing to a "delirious fit" and was thus not responsible for his actions.
    "Deciding to take narcotics and then 'going mad' should, not in my view, remove your criminal responsibility," Macron told Le Figaro in an interview.
    "I would like Justice Minister [Eric Dupond-Moretti] to present a change in the law as soon as possible," he said.
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    French President Emmanuel Macron
    French President Emmanuel Macron
    French President Emmanuel Macron
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Halimi's murder stoked debate over a new strain of anti-Semitism among radicalized Muslim youths in predominantly immigrant neighborhoods.
    This is not the first time Macron has waded into the case after he criticized the lower court's insanity finding in January last year, drawing a sharp riposte from the country's top magistrates who invoked the separation of powers.
    "It is not for me to comment on a court decision," Macron told Le Figaro. "But I want to assure the family, relatives of the victim and all fellow citizens of Jewish faith who were awaiting this trial of my warm support and the determination of the Republic to protect them."
    Jewish groups said the court ruling had made Jews less safe in France, while lawyers representing Halimi's family said they intend to refer the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
    French Jews have been repeatedly targeted by jihadists in recent years.
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    Mourners hold up images of the four victims of a deadly attack at a Paris kosher supermarket during their funerals in Jerusalem in January 2015
    Mourners hold up images of the four victims of a deadly attack at a Paris kosher supermarket during their funerals in Jerusalem in January 2015
    Mourners hold up images of the four victims of a deadly attack at a Paris kosher supermarket during their funerals in Jerusalem in January 2015
    (Photo: AFP)
    Notable attacks occurred in 2012 an Islamist gunman shot dead three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in the southern city of Toulouse and in 2015 when a pro-Islamic State radical gunned down four people at a Jewish supermarket in Paris.
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