French prosecutors investigating the April slaying of a Jewish woman by her neighbor on Wednesday said for the first time that her killing was an anti-Semitic hate crime, JTA reports.
The characterization by prosecutors in the death of Sarah Halimi followed months of lobbying and protest by French Jews, who were outraged by the absence of aggravated circumstances in the indictment against Traore Kobili.
The 27-year-old Muslim man confessed to the killing and was heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” and calling Halimi “Satan” shortly before throwing her out the window of her three-story apartment.
Traore in his defense has claimed temporary insanity, even though he has no record of mental illness.
Earlier this week, the Le Figaro daily reported that Traore was found to have been under the influence of strong cannaboid drugs at the time of the incident, according to a psychiatric evaluation by an independent mental health professional. The evaluation nonetheless showed that Kobili may have been partially aware of his actions and therefore was legally accountable for them, the newspaper reported.
For long weeks after the slaying of Halimi, a 66-year-old physician and kindergarten teacher, the mainstream media in France ignored claims by senior members of the French Jewish community that she was a victim of an anti-Semitic murder.
Hundreds of members of the French Jewish community demonstrated outside Halimi’s home after her murder, when the police would not classify her death as a hate crime.
Following Wednesday’s development, Francis Kalifat, the president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, said in a statement to the media that he and other French Jews were “satisfied and relieved by the inclusion finally of an admission of the anti-Semitic character of the murder.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Rosh Hashanah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)