Court upholds sentences for 16 over murder of French Jew

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 18, 2010 02:58

 
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PARIS  — A French appeals court on Friday upheld the convictions of 16 people for their roles in the 2006 kidnapping, torture and murder of a young French Jew, handing down sentences of up to 18 years in prison.

The appeals court in Creteil near Paris heard appeals of defendants already convicted by a lower court into the slaying of Ilan Halimi, who was lured by a young woman and then abducted and killed.

The ringleader, Youssouf Fofana, was not on trial in the proceedings that began Oct. 25. He chose not to appeal his conviction and life sentence.

Two of his close associates, Jean-Christophe Soumbou and Samir Ait Abdel Malek, were sentenced to 18 years behind bars in the verdict Friday. A state prosecutor had sought 20 years for each. Malek had previously been sentenced to 15 years; Soumbous' penalty was unchanged.

The appeals proceedings took place behind closed doors because two of the defendants were minors at the time. Minors are not publicly identified when tried in court under French law.

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