French Killer of Jewish Woman Not Responsible for His Actions Because He Was Too High, Court Rules

Kobili Traore had 'delusional episode' when he beat Sarah Halimi for an hour before throwing her to her death

JTA
Cnaan Liphshiz
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The Palais de Justice in Paris, which houses the city's appeals court.
The Palais de Justice in Paris, which houses the city's appeals court. Credit: Carlos Delgado / Wikimedia Commons
JTA
Cnaan Liphshiz

The Paris Appeals Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that a Muslim man who killed his Jewish neighbor will not face trial because he was too high on marijuana to control his actions.

The court relieved Kobili Traore, 29, of criminal responsibility for his slaying of Sarah Halimi, whom Traore pummeled for about an hour while shouting about Allah and calling her a demon before throwing the 60-year-old physician to her death from the window of her third-story apartment. It did say that the killing was partly because of anti-Semitism.

Traore had a “delusional episode” because of a large amount of marijuana he ingested shortly before he entered Halimi’s apartment, the court said. He is to be hospitalized for treatment of his psychotic lapses or made to attend a drug rehabilitation program, AFP reported.

But Traore, whom Halimi’s daughter said once called her a “dirty Jew” on the building’s staircase, “does appear to have voluntarily ended the life of Sarah Halimi,” the court also said. It retained the aggravated element of a hate crime in the indictment against Traore, but determined it would not go to trial because Traore was not fully aware of his actions on the night of April 3, when he killed Halimi, according to the court.

The appeals court’s decision “marks the advent of a policy that gives impunity to anti-Semitic murder in France, EUJF, the French-Jewish student association, wrote Thursday on Twitter.

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