No hate crime charges in robbery of French Jewish couple

French prosecutors reference to hate crimes from indictment of four men suspected of rape and robbery of Jewish home in Paris suburb.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

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French prosecutors decided to omit any reference to hate crimes from the indictment of four men suspected of rape and robbery at a suburban Paris home they acknowledged was targeted because it belonged to Jews, JTA reported on Wednesday.

The incident occurred in 2014 in Creteil, when the men who were armed with a pistol and a shotgun stormed the home of a young Jewish couple, raped the woman and stole jewelry and bank cards while uttering anti-Semitic insults.

Both Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve saw the incident as anti-Semitic. Valls wrote on Twitter that “the horror of Creteil is a deplorable example of how the fight against anti-Semitism is a constant fight.”

Cazeneuve said in a statement following the incident that the "anti-Semitic nature (of the attack) seems proven," adding that the assailants "started with the idea that being Jewish means having money."

But despite all signs pointing to the attack being anti-Semitic, the handling judge of inquiry decided against including hate crime charges.

The draft indictment against the four suspects now contains charges of group rape, armed robbery, abduction and conspiracy to commit a crime, but no reference to violence on ethnic or religious grounds, the Le Parisien reported.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA) watchdog group published a statement Wednesday speaking of its “concern and indignation over the decision taken by a novice judge of inquiry” to “delete the aggravated circumstances.”

According to BNVCA, the judge who handled the case previously had included the religious grounds charges in a draft indictment.

The Creteil attack occurred amid a major increase in anti-Semitic violence in France, which flared particularly during Israel’s anti-terrorism Operation Protective Edge that summer, with violent protests taking place in Paris.

In one incident, hundreds of Muslim extremists attacked a major synagogue in Paris, provoking clashes with Jewish youths who rushed to defend the site and worshippers trapped inside.