The killer of Chareidi Jewish kindergarten teacher Sarah Halimi from Paris, Kobili Traoré, has had the prosecution drop the charges against him after his lawyers made a plea for insanity. Traoré is currently being forcibly held by French authorities in a psychiatric hospital.
The plea of insanity came after his lawyers were able to convince prosecutors that Traoré had suffered a major psychotic episode due to smoking cannabis.
Traoré killed Halimi after he broke into her apartment in eastern Paris on April 4th, 2017.
Witnesses of the incident said the 65-year-old woman was severely beaten and called a “demon” by Traoré and that Traoré recited Koranic verses as he threw her off her balcony.
On Wednesday, Traoré admitted to killing Ms Halimi stating that he was not aware of his actions on the night of the murder. Furthermore, he said that he did remember when he broke in to her apartment.
“I felt persecuted. When I saw the Torah and a chandelier in her home I felt oppressed. I saw her face transforming,” he said.
French prosecutors were divided on how to proceed. While local prosecutors argued that Traoré should be put on trial, but the more senior procureur général argued that Traoré should be hospitalized.
Attorney Gilles-William Goldnadel who was representing the Halimi family asked Traoré: “Do you think you should be tried? And get a sentence for what you have done?”
Traoré answered in the affirmative but his attorney Thomas Bidnic objected and responded: “Since when does the accused decide if he should be tried?”
A second attorney representing the Halimi family, Francis Szpiner, said the case was setting a historic precedent: “You’re saying that people can walk free after carrying out criminal action just because they were allegedly not aware of the effects of drugs or other substances? Will this also apply to drunk drivers who kill children on the road?”
The final decision as to whether or not Traoré will be tried or sent to a psychiatric hospital will come from the court on December 19.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)