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A French parliamentary inquiry into the case of a Jewish woman murdered in her own home by an antisemitic intruder ended in disarray this week, as members of the committee openly disagreed with each other over its conclusions.
The inquiry into the case of Sarah Halimi — a 65-year-old Jewish woman who was badly beaten and then ejected from a third-floor window in the April 2017 assault — was launched last year in the wake of the decision of France’s highest court to excuse her assailant, Kobili Traore, from a criminal trial. To the fury of Halimi’s family and the French Jewish community, the court recognized the antisemitic nature of the murder but ruled that Traore’s intake of marijuana on the night of the killing had rendered him temporarily insane and therefore criminally irresponsible.
More than 40 people gave testimony to the parliamentary inquiry, among them former neighbors of Halimi, her relatives, police officers and psychiatric experts. Its goal was to examine police and judicial errors in the conduct of the case as well issue relevant recommendations.
However, tensions within the committee came to a head on Wednesday, when three MPs — Meyer Habib, Constance Le Grip and François Pupponi — refused to vote in favor of the final draft of the report by rapporteur Florence Morlighem of the ruling LREM Party.
January 14, 2022 10:20 am
In an interview with Jewish broadcaster Radio J, Habib angrily accused the inquiry of having engaged in a cover-up. “I did not vote for this report because it is a scandal,” he declared. He said that the committee members had refused to properly consider “whether the ten policemen who told us they didn’t hear a single scream of a woman beaten to death for 14 minutes, whose neighbors were all awake, are lying.”
Added Habib pointedly: “And yes, they are lying.”
Habib also charged the commission with having ignored the testimony of witnesses who were present when Traore broke into Halimi’s apartment in the early hours of Apr. 4, 2017.
“It is a second Dreyfus affair, the Sarah Halimi affair,” Habib claimed, invoking the case of the French Jewish army captain, Alfred Dreyfus, who was falsely convicted on espionage charges in 1894 amid a wave of violent antisemitism in France. “Her family cannot grieve.”
Remarking that “this case is not over,” Habib pledged that he would not “let go until justice is done.”
Didier Paris, another member of the inquiry, criticized Habib for having “done everything possible to instrumentalize this commission.”
Paris argued that “by calling into question a court decision that has become final, [Habib] is committing a violation of the separation of powers.” He said that Habib’s criticism of the police officers who attended Halimi’s apartment was unwarranted. “It is always easy to criticize after the fact, but before they intervene, by definition, they do not know what they will find,” Paris said.
Source of original article: World – Algemeiner.com (www.algemeiner.com).
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