A French prosecutor has dropped murder charges against the killer of Jewish kindergarten teacher Sarah Halimi after experts ruled he had suffered a massive psychotic episode because of smoking cannabis.
Ms. Halimi, 65 years old, was killed by Kobili Traore’, on April 4, 2017, after he broke into her Paris apartment. The Orthodox Jew was beaten and called a “demon”. Traore spoke Koranic verses as he threw her from her balcony.
In an appeals court hearing, Traore’ admitted killing Ms. Halimi, saying he was not aware of his actions on the night of the murder and did not recognize when he broke in. Yet somehow he was able to remember these specifics: “I felt persecuted. When I saw the Torah and a chandelier in her home I felt oppressed. I saw her face transforming,” he said.
Witnesses also recall Traore’ shouting “a woman is trying to kill herself!” shortly before he threw her from the balcony. Ms. Halimi’s lawyers said it proved her killer was already planning his defense.
Traore’s lawyer said there were “no good solutions in the case”. He added, “This is Sarah Halimi’s tragedy, her family’s tragedy, and this boy’s tragedy, although I’m not comparing the two. Sending him to the hospital is not ideal nor sending him to prison.”
The killer remains in a psychiatric hospital, receiving limited meds and is “still a threat”.
Francis Szpiner, a Halimi family lawyer, said the case was setting a historic precedent: “You’re saying that people can walk free after carrying out criminal action just because they were allegedly not aware of the effects of drugs or other substances? Will this also apply to drunk drivers who kill children on the road?”
The court will rule on December 19 on whether Traore’ should be put on trial.
We’re wondering if the London Bridge murders by a terrorist on early release will have any effect on the court’s “thinking”.
Here’s hoping it does, but don’t be surprised if it doesn’t.