French President Emanuel Macron on Sunday expressed support for the country’s Jewish community and their efforts to bring Sarah Halimi’s killer to justice after the French Supreme Court ruled that Kobili Traore was charged with smoking Marijuana is not criminally responsible.
And he said he would seek a change in the law to prevent such a case from happening again.
In a rare and controversial criticism of the French judicial system, Macron said that drug use and “going insane” should not negate criminal responsibility.
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After criticizing the insane finding by a lower court in January last year and receiving a harsh response from the country’s top judges, Macron expressed support on Sunday for the fight to bring Traore to justice for murder.
“It is not my job to comment on a court decision, but I would like to convey my warm support and the determination of the republic to protect the family, relatives of the victim and all of our Jewish citizens awaiting trial she, ”Macron said to Le Figaro.
Macron said France “doesn’t judge sick citizens, we treat them … but the decision to use drugs and then” go crazy “should, in my opinion, not nullify your criminal responsibility.”
He added: “I want Justice Minister [Eric Dupond-Moretti] to table an amendment to the law as soon as possible.”
Sarah Halimi, an Orthodox Jewish woman in her sixties, died in 2017 after being pushed out of the window of her Paris apartment by neighbor Traore, who shouted “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great” in Arabic).
In a decision on Wednesday, the Supreme Court of Appeals of the Court of Cassation upheld the lower tribunals’ ruling that Traore cannot stand trial for using too much marijuana to be criminally responsible for his actions.
Traore, a heavy pot smoker, has been in psychiatric treatment since Halimi’s death. The court said he committed the murder after succumbing to a “fit of madness” and was therefore not responsible for his actions.
An appeals court had said Traore, now in his early 30s, was anti-Semitic and that the murder was in part related to it. But it also accepted the defense claims that Traore was too high to be tried for his actions and that he was being taken to a mental health facility.
Macron previously said that “a trial was required” even if a judge then decided that there was no criminal liability.
The court decision, which means that Traore cannot stand before a French court, sparked anger among anti-racism groups who say the verdict endangered Jews.
Fomenting the debate about a new kind of anti-Semitism among radicalized Muslim youth in predominantly immigrant areas was a turning point for many French Jews, underscoring the failure of the French state to deal with anti-Semitism.
“This is a additional drama that adds to this tragedy, “said the International League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (LICRA) after the Judgment.
“From now on you can torture and kill Jews in our country with impunity,” added the President of the Council of Representatives of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF), Francis Caliphate.
The director of Simon Wiesenthal Centers for International Relations, Shimon Samuels, described the decision as a “devastating blow” that “may set a precedent for all hate criminals to simply claim insanity or choose to smoke, snort or inject drugs, or even.” get drunk before committing their crimes. “
French Jews have been repeatedly attacked by jihadists in recent years, particularly in 2012 when an Islamist gunman shot three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in the southern city of Toulouse, and in 2015 a radical pro-Islamic state was gunned down four People in a Jewish supermarket in Paris.
Following Wednesday’s ruling, lawyers representing Halimi’s family said they intend to refer the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
“It’s a bad one Message for French-Jewish citizens, “said Halimi’s brother Muriel Ouaknine Melki’s lawyer.
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