Lawyers say French anti-Semitism appeal politically motivated

Defense lawyers for the gang members who were convicted of severely torturing a Jewish man in France criticized on Tuesday the prosecutors who tried the case, and said that they planned on challenging the sentences which were handed down. The prosecutor's office, meanwhile, said that it was also appealing the sentences because they believe that the sentences given to 18 of the 27 defendants were too lenient. The defense lawyers said Tuesday the appeal was initiated by the Justice Ministry and was politically motivated. Gang leader Youssouf Fofana was sentenced to life in prison for the 2006 death of 23-year-old Ilan Halimi, but several defendants received sentences lighter than prosecutors requested.