French Prosecutors Omit Hate Crime Charges Against Burglars Who Yelled 'You Jews Have Money'

Jewish group condemns ruling of 2017 incident, saying it is 'astounded and indignant'

French police and army patrol a Jewish quarter of Paris, January 12, 2015.
Remy de la Mauviniere/AP

Prosecutors in France did not include the aggravated element of a hate crime in the indictments of three men who allegedly singled out a Jewish family for a burglary at their home.

In the 2017 incident, the suspects are accused of breaking into the Paris-area home of Roger Pinto, the president of Siona, a group that represents Sephardic Jews. The attackers, two of whom were wearing masks, beat Pinto’s son and wife in the home in the northeastern suburb of Livry Gargan. One of the burglars said “You Jews have money,” according to the family members.

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The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, said Tuesday that it was “astounded and indignant” over the indictment filed this month against five defendants who were arrested in 2017. They are to stand trial for burglary, BNVCA said.

Earlier this month, BNVCA and the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities protested a preliminary ruling by a judge of inquiry who said that a Muslim man who killed his Jewish neighbor in 2017 while shouting about Allah and calling her a “demon” is probably not criminally responsible for his actions because he had smoked a lot of marijuana before the incident.

Sammy Ghozlan in a statement said these rulings and others that “deny the anti-Semitic character of hate crimes against Jews” will “be a stain” on the French state in the mirror of history.