France’s Court of Cassation’s Supreme Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld the ruling of lower courts that the killer of Sarah Halimi cannot stand trial for her grisly murder since he smoked marijuana beforehand.
The court accepted the defense claims that Kobili Traoré – who murdered Halimi in 2017 while screaming anti-Semitic epithets – was too high on marijuana to be criminally responsible for his actions.
The Court of Cassation claimed that since Traore’s sense of “discernment” was clouded by an “acute delirious puff” of marijuana, he could not “be judged criminally even when his mental state was caused by the regular consumption of drugs.”
Traore is currently confined to a psychiatric hospital but can be released if doctors decide he no longer poses a danger to others.
“Sarah Halimi was beaten mercilessly, her body thrown from her apartment window while her killer called her satan and a dirty Jew,” former New York Times journalist Bari Weiss wrote in response to the verdict. “Kobili Traoré had 22 prior convictions. But he will not be prosecuted for murder because . . . he smoked weed.”
Why is France, a country under the rule of law, allowing pot smoke to obstruct justice?@Courdecassation ruled that the alleged torturer & murderer of Dr. #SarahHalimi, a Parisian Jewish grandmother, will never have to stand trial b/c he was high. Seriouslyhttps://t.co/8dq6EFEIbs pic.twitter.com/wWBMzf5rrZ
— American Sephardi Federation (ASF) (@AmericanSephard) April 14, 2021
“Now in our country, we can torture and kill Jews with impunity,” wrote Francis Kalifat, the president of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF).
“[The decision] “potentially creates a precedent for all hate criminals to simply claim insanity or decide to smoke, snort or inject drugs or even get drunk before committing their crimes,” stated Shimon Samuels, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s director for international relations.
“Today we can smoke, snort and inject ourselves in high doses to the point of causing ourselves an ‘acute delirious puff’ which abolishes our ‘discernement,‘ and we will benefit from criminal irresponsibility,” lawyer Oudy Bloch told French media outlets.
This was the last appeal that Halimi’s relatives could submit in France but the lawyers representing the family said they plan on referring the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)