France: No hate crime charges against burglars who targeted Jews

Prosecutors in France do not include hate crime in indictments of three suspects in breaking into Jewish home in 2017.

Ben Ariel,

Paris
Paris
Reuters

Prosecutors in France did not include the aggravated element of a hate crime in indictments of three men who allegedly singled out a Jewish family for a burglary at their home, JTA reported on Tuesday.

In the 2017 incident, the suspects are accused of breaking into the Paris-area home of Roger Pinto, the president of Siona, a group that represents Sephardic Jews.

The attackers, two of whom were wearing masks, beat Pinto’s son and wife in the home in the northeastern suburb of Livry Gargan. One of the burglars said “You Jews have money,” according to the family members.

French police arrested five suspects in connection with the incident in December of 2017. Prosecutors said at the time that the suspects would be charged with a home invasion with aggravated elements of a hate crime.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, said Tuesday that it was “astounded and indignant” over the indictment filed this month against the five defendants. They are to stand trial for burglary, BNVCA said.

Several days ago, a French judge ruled that a Muslim man who killed his Jewish neighbor Sarah Halimi in Paris in 2017, while shouting “Allahu Akbar” is probably not criminally responsible for his actions because he had smoked marijuana beforehand.

Halimi was murdered in 2017 after she was attacked by her Muslim neighbor while she was sleeping in her apartment. He stabbed her and then threw her from the third story to her death.

The neighbor, Kobili Traore, confessed to the killing but a subsequent psychiatric evaluation determined that he was not responsible for his actions.

Francis Khalifat, the president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, called the latest ruling “unsurprising but hardly justifiable.” He said his group and others will appeal in hopes of bringing Traore to trial.




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