Jewish murder trial begins in Paris - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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Jewish murder trial begins in Paris

Wednesday, April 29, 2009
16:31 Mecca time, 13:31 GMT
News Europe
Jewish murder trial begins in Paris
Al Jazeera

Youssouf Fofana is accused of pre-meditated murder, torture and acts of barbarism [AFP]

Some 27 people have appeared in a Paris juvenile court over the brutal torture and killing of a Jewish man, in a case that sparked fears of a resurgence of anti-Semitism in France.

Youssouf Fofana, 28, the alleged leader of the group, is accused of the murder and torture of Ilan Halimi in February 2006 and faces life imprisonment if convicted.

The other 26 accomplices, aged 17 to 32, face charges ranging from failing to report an offence to kidnapping and sequestering.

Halimi, 23, died shortly after being found naked and handcuffed in south Paris, following his kidnap and torture which had lasted 24 days.

Street protests

His murder stirred debate on anti-Semitisim in France after police initially refused to consider the case as a hate-crime.

Hamili's family's lawyers insist he was targeted because he was Jewish.

Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, Fofana's lawyer, told the court her client was not "the devil" but had been the victims of a "political and religious marketing campaign".

Halimi went missing in January 2006 while on a date he had met at his workplace - a Paris mobile phone shop.

The girl lured Halimi to the basement of a building, where he was attacked and subdued.

His murder came month after France's high-immigrant suburbs exploded into rioting in late 2005.

Tens of thousands of people took to the street to protest anti-Semitism some two weeks after his body was found.

The trial is being heard by a juvenile court because two of the defendants were minors at the time of the crime.
Source: Agencies
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-29-2009, 11:11 PM
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What a bunch of animals....

Charles Bremner in Paris

A self-proclaimed Muslim barbarian shouted his contempt for his judges yesterday at the start of his trial for the torture and murder of a young Jewish man.

Youssouf Fofana, 28, who led a loose-knit gang of youths from an immigrant housing estate, swaggered into court and shouted “Allah will conquer” as the court began hearing a case into a killing that horrified France and the world Jewish community in 2006.

Mr Fofana and most of his 26 alleged accomplices have admitted their roles in the kidnapping of Ilan Halimi, 23, an assistant in a Paris telephone shop, who was held for ransom for 24 days in the suburb of Bagneux. Mr Fofana, whose parents came to France from Ivory Coast, denies killing the victim, who was tied up in a cellar and tortured with acid, cigarettes and knives. He died in an ambulance after Mr Fofana dumped him by a railway line and allegedly set him alight.

The crime symbolised the casual and violent anti-Semitic culture among the young on the immigrant estates. It shocked France because many residents, including parents of gang members, were alleged to have been aware that Mr Halimi was being held. Some allegedly took turns in guarding the captive for a few euros. Half the defendants, mainly teenagers at the time, face charges of failing to render assistance or alert police.
Related Links

* Barbarian ‘killers’ stir spectre of anti-semitism

* Police deny torture killing was anti-Semitic

The racially charged trial proceeded in camera because two of the accused were minors in 2006, including Emma, 19, of Iranian background, who is alleged to have lured Mr Halimi to his doom by visiting his shop and inviting him on a romantic date.

Ruth Halimi, the victim's mother, has accused the police of bungling the inquiry. She initially attacked the Government, including Nicolas Sarkozy, then the Interior Minister, for playing down its anti-Semitic aspect.

After thousands demonstrated, Mr Sarkozy promised Jewish leaders that everything would be done to bring all those involved to justice.

Mr Fofana faces life imprisonment if convicted of kidnapping, torture and murder, aggravated by anti-Semitic motives, a specific charge in French law.

Mrs Halimi sat apparently praying in court as Mr Fofana, bearded and in a white tracksuit, grinned at her and jokingly told the judges that his name was “Arabs African revolt barbarian Salafist army”. Salafism is a fundamentalist movement espoused by many young immigrant radicals.

Mrs Halimi has been waging a campaign to keep the spotlight on the anti-Semitic motives behind the crime. Mr Fofana's accomplices are alleged to have said that he picked the victim because he was Jewish and “Jews have money and they stick together”.
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 04-30-2009, 03:25 AM
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If they aren't found guilty, the protests will be worldwide, I'm afraid...

I'm not a real dickhead...but I acted like one in high school.
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