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Murder Victim’s Son Says It’s ‘Shameful’ That Suspect in Killing of French Jewish Woman Won’t Stand Trial

Alan Knoll, the son of murdered Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, said this at a rally for justice for murdered Jewish woman Sarah Halimi.
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September 15, 2020
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 09: A gavel sits on the table as New York City Criminal Court Judge Paul McDonnell works remotely from his Brooklyn apartment due to the coronavirus outbreak on April 09, 2020 in New York City. Judge McDonnell, who usually presides over cases in a Manhattan court room, has had to alter his work routine by hearing cases remotely due to the virus outbreak. While Judge McDonnell still works a full day, he has seen a drop in criminal arrests as COVID-19 slows all New York activity. Across the country, the whole legal profession has been forced to find innovative ways to keep the justice system moving as safety concerns continue to prevent large gatherings. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Alan Knoll, the son of slain Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll, criticized the French judicial system at a Sept. 13 rally for ruling that the suspect in the death of Sarah Halimi won’t stand trial.

The Algemeiner reported that the rally, which consisted of around 50 people in Paris, was protesting a French appeal court’s December ruling that Kobili Traore, 29, wouldn’t stand trial because he was under the influence of marijuana. Traore is alleged to have beaten Halimi, 65, to death in April 2017 in her apartment and then thrown her out of a window.

At the Sept. 13 rally, Knoll decried the December ruling as “shameful” and accused the judicial system’s treatment of the French Jewish community of being “unconscionable,” according to The Algemeiner.

“The fact that someone takes a small amount of drugs doesn’t mean he loses possession of his faculties,” he said. “The murder of Sarah Halimi was a deliberate act and it cannot go unpunished.”

Knoll urged the judicial system to reopen the Halimi case so the Jewish community could receive justice. Otherwise, the judiciary is “bowing like a servant” to the suspect, he said.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center echoed Knoll’s remarks in a Sept. 14 tweet.

“No justice for #French Jewry, no peace for French society. Evil doers empowered to wreak more mayhem on the nation,” the Jewish group tweeted. “Starts with Jews NEVER ends with Jews.”

The December court ruling on Traore argued that although he appeared to have an anti-Semitic motive in the killing of Halimi, he couldn’t be held responsible for his actions because he was high on marijuana. Traore allegedly shouted, “Allahu Akbar” [Arabic for “God is great”] while attacking Halimi and then shouted, “I have killed the sheitan [demon].”

Jewish groups had expressed outrage over the ruling at the time; Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt tweeted at the time the ruling was “shocking and unacceptable.” The American Jewish Committee had also tweeted that the court’s decision “will forever be a stain on France’s judicial system and casts serious doubt on its willingness to condemn anti-Semitism and uphold the rights of French Jews.”

Knoll’s mother, Mireille, was robbed and killed in March 2018 after being stabbed 11 times in her apartment, which was subsequently set on fire. Two men, Yacine Mihoub and Alex Carrimbacus, were ordered in July to stand trial on charges that Knoll’s killing was an anti-Semitic act. Carrimbacus, now 22, who has a reported history of psychiatric issues, admitted during questioning that he and Mihoub, now 28 and the son of Mireille Knoll’s neighbor, targeted her because she was Jewish, according to Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Mihoub’s attorneys have denied this.

Both men are pleading not guilty.

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