Judge rules French Jewish woman’s murder was a hate crime

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Judge rules French Jewish woman’s murder was a hate crime

Sarah Halimi's killing ruled to have been motivated by racism, after the judge originally scrapped that charge from the indictment

Sarah Halimi (Courtesy of the Confédération des Juifs de France et des amis d'Israël)
Sarah Halimi (Courtesy of the Confédération des Juifs de France et des amis d'Israël)

The judge in the case of the murder of an Orthodox Jewish woman in Paris has declared the killing a hate crime, after originally scrapping those charges from the indictment of the murder suspect who confessed to killing the woman.

The examining magistrate on Tuesday reinstated the charge of murder aggravated by racial hatred, after the Paris Prosecutor’s office appealed his dismissal of the charge earlier this month.

Sarah Halimi, 65, was killed in April when her neighbour Kobili Traore, a 28-year-old Muslim man, threw her from the window of her third-story apartment. Traore was heard shouting about Allah and calling her “a devil” in Arabic. Halimi’s daughter said he had called the daughter a “dirty Jewess” in the building two years before the slaying of Halimi.

Traore is pleading temporary insanity, though he has though he has no history of mental illness.

The psychiatric report, issued in September, concluded that on the night of the incident Traore suffered an “acute delirium” after heavy cannabis use, but that the psychotic disorder did not exclude his criminal responsibility, “not incompatible with an anti-Semitic dimension,”  Le Parisien reported.

A French anti-Semitism watchdog, the National Bureau of Vigilance Against Antisemitism, in a statement welcomed the judge’s decision, saying that to the group it was “already obvious given the religious of the victim and the perpetrator’s profile.”

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