ONE NIGHT IN APRIL last year, in the largely working-class neighbourhood of Belleville in Paris, a 27-year old man stole into the apartment of a neighbour, Sarah Halimi, the 65-year old retired director of a Jewish kindergarten, an orthodox Jewish widow with three adult children.
Malian-born Kobili Traoré brutally attacked the sleeping woman before throwing her from the window of her third-floor apartment. Witnesses heard him cry, “Allahu akbar” as he pushed her body onto the balcony, and then, “I killed the devil” as she fell.
The police, who had been called earlier by another family in the building, did not attempt to enter the apartment; afraid that this was a terrorist attack they waited outside the building for reinforcements. By the time reinforcements arrived, Halimi was dead. She had been tortured for an hour before she was killed; the living room was covered in blood.
The usual excuse for the Muslim killer was mental illness.
Yes, he hit her screaming " Allahu akbar " and suras of the Koran: first with the phone's handset, then with his fists. Yes, he threw it well over his third floor balcony. But, he assures, he remains unable to explain why he has committed such an act of barbarism. "I do not know, I do not remember," slips the young man with each question asked on the motive of the murder. He repeats: "I can not describe what was going on in my head."
Maybe the suras of the Koran can help. Or his attempt to cover up his crime by shouting that the victim had committed suicide.
But don't worry, the judge will protect the poor killer.
A 27-year-old Malian Muslim, Kobili Traore, has been charged with intentional homicide.
But this week a judge rejected a prosecution request to reclassify the case as a murder motivated by antisemitism, a crime that carries a heavier penalty.
The judge, Anne Ihuellou, also ruled Mr Traore's mental state meant he should be protected from the French Jewish community's "hostile" attitude towards him.
Thank goodness, someone is finally protecting the real victim in this case. Vichy never ended.