Two men are to stand trial in France for stabbing and killing an 85-year old Jewish Holocaust survivor in her Paris apartment in 2018 before setting her body on fire.
Mireille Knoll, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease, fled France to escape the Nazis during the war, and her brutal killing shocked the country, prompting a national march against antisemitism attended by President Emmanuel Macron.
French judges have now ordered the trial of her long-time neighbour Yacine Mihoub, 29, and Alexandre Carrimbacus, 21, on charges of murder and aggravated robbery. Mihoub’s mother will also stand trial, accused of destroying evidence.
There were initial suspicions that the killing may have been antisemitic after Carrimbacus told police that Mihoub shouted “Allahu Akbar” – God is great – during the attack. He later retracted this.
It subsequently emerged that the unemployed Carrimbacus has a history of psychiatric problems and several convictions for robbery.
Likewise, Mihoub told prosecutors that Carrimbacus said: “She’s a Jew, she must have money.” Both accuse the other of stabbing the octogenarian.
Knoll family lawyer Gilles-William Goldnadel told AFP this week that Mireille Knoll “was killed both because she was an old person unable to defend herself, and because she inspired a particular hate because of her Jewish origins”.