Thousands have rallied on April 25 after the highest court in France ruled that the killer of Jewish woman Sarah Halimi was unfit to stand trial due to a “delirious state.”
The Court of Cassation ruled that enough evidence showed that the killing had anti-Semitic motives, but also said that an individual committing a crime in a “delirious state” — even one caused by use of illegal drugs — cannot stand trial.
“According to unanimous opinions of different psychiatry experts, that man was presenting at the time of the facts a severe delirious state,” the court said in a statement, referring to Kobili Traore, who pushed Halimi out of the window of her Paris apartment in 2017.
Traore also allegedly shouted “Allahu Akbar,” which translates to “God is great” in Arabic, while beating his 65-year-old neighbor before pushing her over.
Traore was known to had smoked large amounts of cannabis and has been in a psychiatric hospital since he killed Halimi.
In an interview with local newspaper Le Figaro, President Emmanuel Macron called for a change in French law.
“Deciding to take narcotics and then ‘going mad’ should, not in my view, remove your criminal responsibility,” Macron said.
Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti stated on Twitter that the government will present at the end of May a bill that will allow courts to consider if an accused had “voluntarily taken toxic substances… leading to a loss of responsibility.”
Dupond-Moretti said that the Halimi case, which he called a “tragic story,” will advance the bill into law.
Protests were also held in some parts of the world, including Tel Aviv, Rome, and Los Angeles.
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