French court hears appeal in 2006 Jewish kidnap case

Appeal of 18 people convicted of torturing, murdering young French Jew Ilan Halimi begins in Paris; gang leader chooses not to appeal.

Kidnap victim Ilan Halimi 311 (photo credit: AP Photo/Benoit Tessier)
Kidnap victim Ilan Halimi 311
(photo credit: AP Photo/Benoit Tessier)
PARIS — A Paris court heard on Monday the appeal of 18 people convicted in the 2006 kidnapping, torture and murder of a young French Jew.
One who's not appealing is Gang leader Youssouf Fofana, who chose not to appeal his conviction and life sentence.
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The appeal started on Monday and is expected to continue through mid-December.
The case revived worries in France about anti-Semitism, considered an aggravating circumstance in the case, and led to anxiety in France's Jewish community, the largest in western Europe.
Ilan Halimi, who was 23 years old, was held captive for more than three weeks. He was found naked, handcuffed and covered with burn marks near railroad tracks in the Essonne region south of Paris on Feb. 13, 2006.
He died on the way to the hospital.