The French National Assembly intends to establish a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the Sarah Halimi affair, the Union of Democrats and Independents Party said on Wednesday.
Halimi, a 65-year-old French Jewish retiree, was murdered by Kobili Traore, who threw her from a window in her Paris home in 2017. Traore shouted “Allahu akhbar” (God is great) and said after her murder that he had “killed the shaitan,” meaning the devil.
Earlier this year, however, France’s final court of appeal on criminal cases upheld a previous court verdict that Traore was not criminally responsible for the killing because he committed it in the course of a psychotic episode triggered by his use of cannabis.
Formation of the committee was initiated and will be headed by Meyer Habib, a French-Israeli UDI legislator who represents French expats in Eastern Mediterranean countries, including Israel.
Enfin ! Vérité et justice pour Sarah Halimi ! La com. d’enquête parlementaire va voir le jour ! 80 députés se sont associés à ma démarche lancée avec @ConstanceLeGrip, mais on notera l’absence gênante de la totalité de la gauche. Je présiderai cette commission. Immense émotion ! pic.twitter.com/aIKcqj13hq— Meyer Habib (@Meyer_Habib) June 8, 2021
The court verdict sparked outrage in France and in Jewish communities worldwide, and French President Emmanuel Macron said he would seek a change to the law because “deciding to take drugs and then ‘going crazy’ should not, in my opinion, take away your criminal responsibility.”
Habib said the inquiry commission will “shed light on... the shortcomings that came up in the Sarah Halimi affair.”
In France, each party in the National Assembly can initiate one parliamentary commission of inquiry per year. The investigation will be able to summon police officers, witnesses, judges, ministers and others to examine the aspects of the case.
Together with Republican Group MP Constance Le Grip, Habib enlisted the signatures of almost 80 lawmakers from six parties from the Right and Center of the political map, but few came from Macron’s En Marche Party, and none from the Left.
“Together with Le Grip, I will do all I can to expose the truth in the Sarah Halimi affair,” Habib said.