Skip to Content

Poster at Place de la Porte-d'Auteuil in Paris: Justice denied for Sarah Halimi. Wikipedia CC BY-SA 4.0
Paris

The Sarah Halimi affair: Killing the victim twice

The lack of commitment on the left in the Sarah Halimi affair in France, has deeply shocked many. The murderer of Sarah Halimi, Kobili Traoré, will not be tried for his crime, according to his judges. But the victim is also being killed for a second time by silence.

Published: April 26, 2021, 11:25 am

    Read more

    Halimi was a retired French doctor and schoolteacher who was attacked and killed in her apartment by her neighbour on 4 April 2017. The circumstances surrounding the murder, including the fact that Halimi was the only Jewish resident in her building, was further highlighted by the assailant shouting “Allahu Akbar” during the attack. The murderer afterward even proclaimed “I killed the Shaitan”. To the French Jewish community, this is the most poignant example of anti-Semitism in France.

    But for several months the French government and media refused to label the killing as anti-Semitic, drawing criticism from Jewish public figures such as Alain Finkielkraut. The government eventually acknowledged an anti-Semitic motivation for the killing, but in 2019 the assailant was declared to be not criminally responsible because he had consumed cannabis, which induced a state of psychosis. The decision was appealed to the supreme Court of Cassation, who in 2021 upheld the lower court’s ruling.

    Oddly, French justice in the past had judged exactly the opposite in an identical and very recent case of February 13, 2018.

    In the case of Kobili Traoré, the psychiatrists were not unanimous. While some claimed that acute delirium due to absorption of cannabis had made him act in an irresponsible way, others concluded that it had caused only a slight alteration in his behaviour. Under these conditions, it was up to the court to decide, after an adversarial debate, whether he would be tried as a killer.

    The 65-year-old Jewish woman was savagely beaten and defenestrated from her third-floor apartment in the Belleville district of Paris.

    The African immigrant from Mali, reportedly became enraged following a family dispute and gained access to the neighbouring apartment of a different family, who immediately locked themselves into a bedroom, phoned police for help, and waited in fear as they listened to the intruder reciting verses from the Quran.

    The police initially went to the wrong building while Traoré climbed a balcony from the apartment where the family was hiding, to the apartment of Halimi, the only Jewish resident of the building. When police finally arrived at the apartment the intruder had entered first, they waited as more phone calls came in to the police emergency hotline reporting a woman screaming while a man was heard shouting “Allahu Akbar” and “I killed the Shaitan”.

    After throwing Halimi from a third-floor window, Traoré returned to the first apartment where the family, still cowering behind a locked door, again heard him praying aloud to Allah.

    Kobili Traoré, a drug dealer and drug addict, claimed insanity and was held in a psychiatric hospital, but one thing is certain: Traoré had a clear and coherent mind, during his so-called psychotic crisis, to unleash his murderous impulse on the only Jewish resident in the building. A hundred days after the killing, the suspect was still under examination for voluntary homicide, and the aggravating factor of anti-Semitism had been dropped. His criminal record included around twenty convictions for violence, theft, use or trafficking of narcotics, contempt, carrying a weapon and multiple other offences but no mention of a disorder, particular psychic.

    He sometimes went to the famous Omar mosque in rue Morand, “considered a temple of radical Islam”, and on the day of the murder he prayed there twice. William Attal, Sarah Halimi’s brother, told the police that his sister feared this man, who had previously called her a “dirty Jew” reported French daily le Figaro.

    According to Jean-Alexandre Buchinger, an attorney for the victim’s family, the killer ought to have been charged with “murder with anti-Semitism as an aggravating circumstance”, but that French Jewish groups believed that this had not been done out of fear of encouraging support for Marine Le Pen and the National Rally’s election campaign.

    In 2017, French writer Michel Onfray noted in a video about the silence surrounding the killing: “How can we kill this poor lady twice? By not giving this information the echo that it deserved, it was to consider that the echo of this murder counted for nothing”. He added that “whenever there is an escalation in terror, there is an escalation in the denial of terror. Every reality today is ignored and swept away ‘if it is likely to play the game of the National Front’. But reality always avenges itself one day”.

    Following the final decision of the supreme Court of Cassation this month, President Macron called for the law to be changed. Macron stated that France “does not judge citizens who are sick, we treat them… But deciding to take drugs and then ‘going crazy’ should not, in my opinion, take away your criminal responsibility”.

    Lawyers for Halimi’s family subsequently announced their intention to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.

    Europe

    Number of passengers doubled in 2022 despite doomsday predictions

    BerlinSomething doesn't add up. While climate activists are warning us about the end of the world, the number of passengers doubled in 2022. In other words: A massively growing number of people are using the air's "dirty" transport and are responsible for copious amounts of CO2 emissions.

    French unions announce more marches after Tuesday’s success

    ParisFollowing the second day of mass mobilisation against the Macron administration's pension reform, the unions have announced new social movements on 7 and 11 February.

    Orban: ‘The current political system in Europe will collapse’

    BudapestIn an interview with the Austrian daily eXXpress, Viktor Orban, Hungary's Prime Minister said he was convinced that the current political system in Europe would collapse within this decade.

    German FM ‘accidentally’ declares war on Russia, riles Africa

    StrasbourgThe “accidental” declaration of war on Russia by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock (Green Party) has stirred up the political classes. Moscow sees evidence that the EU states are "direct warring parties" and the Kremlin has demanded an explanation.

    Hungarian opposition: More illegal US funds than previously known

    BudapestThe result of parliamentary elections in Hungary in April 2022 has been the bane of the opposition. The defeated movement around Péter Márki-Zay received illegal funds from the US on a larger scale than previously thought, according to a recently declassified intel report. Most media outlets have been silent about it.

    WHO introduces a global patient file

    GenevaThe WHO has introduced a global patient file with the vaccinated and unvaccinated to be codified in future.

    Macron deputy consumes cocaine but justice system closes investigation

    ParisAn investigation by Médiapart revealed that the Renaissance deputy of Hauts-de-Seine Emmanuel Pellerin used cocaine, before as well as after his election.

    Sweden’s NATO membership bid goes up in smoke

    StockholmAfter the burning of the Quran in Stockholm, Turkey has no intention of allowing Sweden to join NATO. Sweden's Prime Minister, on the other hand, pointed to the importance of freedom of expression. The NATO Secretary General also spoke up on the matter.

    Internal EU report: Asylum applications has increased by half except in Hungary

    BerlinThe asylum disaster continues unabated in 2023. According to a confidential "Status Report on Migration and Refugees" by the EU Commission dated January 11, the number of asylum applications in the EU rose by around half in the past year to well over 900 000.

    French pension reform: 150 000 young demonstrators according to organisers

    ParisSome 150 000 students marched in Paris on January 21 against pension reform, according to the youth organisations that initiated the demonstration, but only 14 000 according to sources close to the Macron administration.

    Go to archive