A European Parliament member and prominent French intellectuals protested the omission of anti-Semitism from a draft indictment of a Muslim for the murder of his Jewish neighbor.
Frédérique Ries, a lawmaker from Belgium, on Thursday criticized French authorities’ handling of the investigation into the April 4 incident, in which Sarah Halimi was tortured and thrown out of her third-story apartment to her death, allegedly by Kobili Traore, who lived in her building.
“French authorities have treated her murder with icy silence,” Ries, who is Jewish, said in reference to the fact that Traore, who had no history of mental illness, was placed at a psychiatric institution and has not been charged with a hate crime despite evidence suggesting he killed Halimi because she was Jewish.
In a voice recording of the incident, Traore is heard shouting “Allahu akbar,” calling Sarah “Satan” and calmly praying after her killing, according to reports.
17 French intellectuals published a scathing criticism of the handling of the incident by authorities and the media.
“Everything about this crime suggests there is an ongoing denial of reality” by authorities, the intellectuals wrote, citing also testimonies of neighbors who said Traore had called Halimi a “dirty Jew” to her face and called her relatives “dirty Jews” as well in the past.
Many French Jews believe authorities covered up Halimi’s alleged murder to prevent it from becoming fodder for the divisive presidential campaign.