Fourteen of those convicted in the brutal slaying of young French Jew Ilan Halimi will face an appeal for increased jail terms. The appeal was granted following intervention from Justice Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.
Some French jurists protested the move, and accused Alliot-Marie of giving in to political pressure.
A court had sentenced two people who took part in holding Halimi captive and torturing him to between 15 and 18 years in prison, while a woman who lured Halimi to within kidnappers' reach was sentenced to nine years. Prosecutors had requested that the attackers be sentenced to 20 and 12 years respectively.
Several members of the gang that carried out the murder were sentenced to as few as six months in prison.
French Jews demonstrated Monday against the verdict, and demanded a public retrial. The original trial was closed to journalists because some of the defendants were minors.
The gang, which called itself “The Barbarians,” was convicted of viciously torturing Halimi over the course of more than three weeks after kidnapping him for ransom. Despite his family's willingness to pay the ransom, the gang continued to hold Halimi hostage and subject him to torture, eventually setting him on fire and then abandoning him outdoors.
Twenty-three year old Halimi was discovered by passersby, but died of his critical wounds on the way to the hospital. Doctors found that Halimi had been repeated stabbed and burnt, and at the time of his death was missing one ear and one toe and had burns on 80 percent of his body.
A court ruled that the murder was motivated at least in part by anti-Semitism. The killing was orchestrated by Youssouf Fofana, who shouted Islamist slogans during his trial. Fofana received a life sentence with no chance of parole before 22 years, the maximum under French law.