A report from Shimon Samuels, Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre

Paris, 21 October 2021

The Wiesenthal Centre has monitored over the years countless antisemitic terrorist crimes in France, but especially the murder of Sarah Halimi. We denounce the travesty of the trial exonerating her killer and constantly urge French authorities to reopen the case.

In the early morning of April 2017, Kobili Traoré, a Malian Muslim neighbour of 65 year-old Sarah Halimi, a retired kindergarten director, entered her apartment, beating her, while chanting Koranic verses and screaming “Allahu Akbar”. He then threw her from a balcony to her death. The Court ruling detained Traore in a psychiatric clinic rather than sentencing him to prison, claiming he was not responsible for acting “under the influence of cannabis.”

Leaks from the “No Silence Group” (le Groupe Pas Silencieux), claiming to focus on faulty judicial decisions, reports that “the Police had the keys to Sarah Halimi neighbour’s apartment and could have intervened earlier, thus saving her from her brutal aggressor.”

If this is substantiated, our Centre will insist on reopening the case, regarding Police behaviour in preventing the victim’s death.

The Parliamentary “Commission of Enquiry into Eventual Disfunction of Justice and Police in the Sarah Halimi case” (Commission d’enquête sur les éventuels dysfonctionnements de la justice et de la police dans l’affaire dite Sarah Halimi) is headed by President, MP Meyer Habib, who has been investigating such questions related to the murder.

These would include:
- Would the Police issue be the key to reopen the Sarah Halimi trial against her murderer?
- What other elements does the Commission have that could reopen the case?
- When will it provide its final Report?

At each turning point, the Sarah Halimi case raises more questions. “Justice for Sarah Halimi” becomes a heartfelt appeal for truth and closure for the family, reminiscent of “J’Accuse!” in the Dreyfus Affair.

Can Habib act as a latter day “Emile Zola”? Time is of the essence, as the failure of the judicial system renders the killer a Jihadi hero for copycat “lone wolves”, bringing death to further Jewish and other victims.

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“My cause was justice, not vengeance. My work is for a better tomorrow and a more secure future for our children and grandchildren.” (Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005)