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Despite an extensive criminal history, affiliations with a particular mosque that has more radical teachings, and Halimi’s daughter reporting Traore called her a “dirty Jewess” when the two crossed paths on the apartment staircase prior to her mother’s death, the reason for excusing the trial is that Traore’s intake of cannabis reportedly clouded his judgment, resulting in the courts declaring his insanity.

“I felt persecuted. When I saw the Torah and a chandelier in her home, I felt oppressed. I saw her face transforming,” Traore was reported as saying in the Jewish Chronicle.

The court’s ruling that a psychotic episode after Traore’s use of cannabis rendered him too unaware of his actions to be held responsible resulted in a firestorm of reactions from the greater Jewish community.

“Is an antisemitic crime the only crime that is excused by the judiciary because of massive drug-taking, whereas in all other crimes the judiciary would consider that to be an aggravating circumstance?” wondered Francis Kalifat, president of a local French Jewish community organization.

Francis Szpiner, the lawyer representing Halimi’s children, has also expressed his thoughts on the decision.

“I am angered and ashamed of our justice system,” Szpiner told the Jewish Chronicle. “It’s a scandalous decision. They have just created a Sarah Halimi jurisprudence. Starting today, anyone who has taken illegal substances will be able to walk free, exonerated from any criminal responsibility.”

“Tonight, Mr Traoré is a free man as far as justice goes,” Szpiner continued. “He’s mentally sane and will soon be released from hospital. Sarah Halimi’s family will try to take the case to the Supreme Court but it may not be able to do so…will this also apply to drunk drivers who kill children on the road?”

Written by Erin Parfet

Picture originally found here

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