Suspected murderer of French Jewish woman declared fit to stand trial

Kobili Traore is accused of the murder of Parisian Jew Sarah Halimi in 2017, a crime to which he has confessed.

January 28, 2018 17:21
1 minute read.
Paris France

POLICE PATROL the Trocadero area, across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower, in Paris. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Kobili Traore, the suspected murderer of French grandmother Sarah Halimi, was declared fit to stand trial after several rounds of psychiatric exams.

Traore, a Malian immigrant who is accused of torturing and killing Halimi and subsequently throwing her off the balcony of her Paris apartment, has been in jail since April 2017, when the attack occurred. Following his arrest, he claimed insanity, necessitating judicial experts acquire the assistance of a psychiatrist to validate his claims or refute them.

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Dr. Daniel Zagury stated previously in September 2017 that Traore was sound of mind, and thus fit to stand trial. He noted that, at the time of the attack, Traore was high from cannabis use, and that his mental state was "altered" but not insane. Zagury's reports following his September statement noted that Traore, in the months since the attack, seemed "more peaceful, more thoughtful and less blunt" but still "emotionally neutral."

Halimi's murder was divisive within French society, since the courts failed to call the attack antisemitic for several months; the crime took place in April, but was not labeled as an anti-Jewish attack until September. It was known among neighborhood residents that Halimi was the only Jewish person in the building.

The government was accused of covering up antisemitism, prompting an outcry from Jewish groups, as well as prominent intellectuals and politicians.

Prior to the murder, during which Traore yelled "Allahu Akbar," the suspect made antisemitic remarks to Halimi's daughter, calling her a "dirty Jew."

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