France struggles to come to terms with fallout from Jewish pensioner’s murder – News 24-7 Live News 24-7 Live
France struggles to come to terms with fallout from Jewish pensioner’s murder

France struggles to come to terms with fallout from Jewish pensioner’s murder

A controversial judicial decision led to thousands of people taking to the streets.

PARIS — A controversial murder case in which the drug-fueled killer of a Jewish pensioner was ruled unfit to stand trial has rocked France, raised concerns about growing anti-Semitism and pitted the president against senior members of the judiciary.

Earlier this month, judges at France’s highest court ruled that in April 2017, Kobili Traoré killed 65-year-old Sarah Halimi while suffering a “delirious fit” fueled by heavy cannabis use and was unaware of what he was doing, and therefore did not have to face trial.

The decision has sparked a wave of public protest across France, with President Emmanuel Macron calling for the law to be changed. On Sunday, thousands of protesters gathered in Paris to demand justice for Halimi.

Macron’s stance has in turn infuriated magistrates who say meddling politicians are a threat to judicial independence. The government is aiming to introduce a new bill on the matter by end of May.

“Deciding to take drugs and subsequently become ‘like crazy’ should not in my opinion abolish criminal responsibility,” Macron said.

Members of the Jewish community in France say the no-trial is the latest blow after a series of high-profile attacks against Jews.

“The relatives are angry, but I won’t lie to you, they were not surprised by the ruling,” said Gilles-William Goldnadel, lawyer for Halimi’s sister Esther Lekover. “We have become used to the justice system being in denial [about anti-Semitism].”

The Halimi case was only belatedly labeled an anti-Semitic attack.

In a recent book, several public figures say Halimi’s death is an example of a new type of anti-Semitism in France, fueled by radical Islamism. Several attacks in the last few years have specifically targeted the Jewish community — although the book’s theory itself is controversial among scholars.

News source: politico

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