Sister of murdered French Jewess Sarah Halimi calls on Israel to try the case
Sarah Halimi’s sister – an Orthodox Jewish woman who was murdered in Paris in 2017 – reportedly lodged a criminal complaint in Israel against the killer, after she avoided being tried in France on the grounds that he was not criminally responsible because he had smoked marijuana. before the crime.
The move, reported on Wednesday by the Ynet news site, appears to be the first time anyone has used a law allowing Israeli citizens to file complaints in the Jewish state for anti-Semitic crimes committed abroad.
However, the movement is largely symbolic since, as a general rule, France does not extradite its citizens to other countries.
Halimi, 65, was beaten and then pushed out the window of her Paris apartment by her neighbor Kobili Traoré, 27, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is the greatest” in Arabic).
But in an April ruling, the French Court of Cassation’s Court of Appeal upheld lower court rulings that Traoré could not stand trial because he was too rich in marijuana to be criminally responsible for his actions. .
Traoré, a heavy cannabis smoker, has been in psychiatric care since Halimi’s death. The court said he committed the murder after succumbing to a “fit of delirium” and was therefore not responsible for his actions.
Lawyers Francis Szpiner and Gilles-William Goldnadel told Ynet that they are now taking the legal battle against Traore to Israeli courts on behalf of Esther Lekover, Halimi’s sister.
Criminal law in Israel may apply to crimes of anti-Semitism committed abroad when complaints are made by Israeli citizens, such as Lekover.
Following the verdict in the French court, lawyers representing Halimi’s family said they intended to send the case back to Israeli courts and the European Court of Human Rights.
After criticizing a lower court’s insanity decision in January last year, prompting a sharp response from the country’s top magistrates, French President Emmanuel Macron has expressed support for the battle to translate Traoré sued for the murder following the April Court of Cassation ruling.
Macron said he would seek to change the laws to prevent such a case from happening again. Macron said taking drugs and “going crazy” shouldn’t eliminate criminal responsibility.
“It is not for me to comment on a court decision, but I would like to express to the family, relatives of the victim, and to all of our Jewish citizens awaiting trial, my warm support and the Republic’s determination to bring them to justice. protect, ”Macron told Le Figaro in April.
Israel’s foreign ministry also lambasted the decision, telling The Times of Israel at the time: “Sarah Halimi was murdered for clearly anti-Semitic motives, for the sole reason that she was Jewish. It was a heinous murder that harmed not only the victim herself and her family, but also the sense of security of the entire Jewish community.
Fueling debate over a new strain of anti-Semitism among radicalized Muslim youth in predominantly immigrant neighborhoods, the handling of Halimi’s murder was a turning point for many French Jews, who say it underscores the failures of the French state. in the fight against anti-Semitism.
French Jews have been repeatedly targeted by jihadists in recent years, most notably in 2012, when 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 terrorist was shot dead. four people in a Jewish supermarket in Paris.
Lazar Berman contributed to this report.