Jewish Journal


July 11, 2009

Paris gang convicted of torturing Jew to death



That’s a photo of Ilan Halimi. In 2006, he was found naked, gagged and handcuffed near railroad tracks in the part of Paris you don’t want to visit. His body showed tremendous signs of torture, and his death sparks fears about rising anti-Semitism in Europe.

Yesterday, a Paris court convicted six of his killers, including Youssouf Fofana, the leader of the gang held responsible:

As the verdict was announced, Fofana, who headed the self-styled gang of barbarians, mimicked applause. Fofana’s sentence means he will have no possibility of parole for 22 years.

His two main accomplices, Samir Ait Abdelmalek and Jean-Christophe Soumbou, were given sentences of 15 and 18 years, respectively. Another man who was a minor at the time also received a 15-year prison term, while Emma, a young girl used to attract Halimi, was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Two people, a man and a woman, were acquitted.

A lawyer for the Halimi family, Francis Szpiner, immediately called on France’s justice minister to appeal the verdict because, he said, the sentences that went to the top lieutenant’s of Fofana were too light and did not reflect the gravity of the crime.

“I regret the court was particularly indulgent toward those who assisted and aided Youssouf Fofana,” Szpiner said after the verdict was pronounced.

Overall, the sentences were slightly less than those sought by prosecutor Philippe Bilger.

More from the AP here.

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