Nine suspects appeared in a French courtroom charged with the 2017 assault, kidnapping and burglary of a Jewish family in Livry-Gargan, outside of Paris, reported France’s BFM TV.
The family’s lawyer Marc Bensimhon said that there is “not a doubt” that the home invasion was motivated by anti-Semitism.
Roger Pinto, 89, was well known for his work as a leader of the Jewish community.
At around noon on September 8, 2017, Roger Pinto’s wife Mireille Pinto, 75, phone the fire department who transferred her to the police. She was reportedly in a state of shock when she told them that her husband, 52-year old son David and herself were being held hostage by three men in their home in Livry-Gargan.
The three men, wearing scarves over their faces, tied up Mireille and David Pinto and then proceed to threaten them with a knife and screwdriver before ransacking the house for two hours. They were apparently obsessed with “finding money.”
They threatened the hostages with taunts of “We will kill you” if they didn’t cooperate with their demands.
In the end, the men got away with only 500 euros in cash, some jewellery and bank cards.
A getaway car was waiting for the three men. Inside was the alleged ringleader and a 19-year old woman who was later captured by a CCTV camera withdrawing money from an ATM after the robbery.
Nine people were arrested for the crime, including the three assailants, the 53-year old ringleader and his girlfriend, the 19-year old who withdrew money from the ATM and three people who received the stolen jewellery.
The nine defendants are charged with kidnapping as an organized gang under threat of weapons, with aggravated circumstances of anti-Semitic intent.
They face life in prison if convicted.
The Pinto family has since moved away from the area and now lives in Paris.