By V4 Agency
A Pakistani man who stabbed to death his former teacher in 2018 was declared incapacitated because of mental health issues so, instead of inprisonment, the investigating council ordered him to undergo forced therapeutic treatment. Outraged by the ruling, the victim’s family argued that a terrorist attack had taken place. The justice minister submitted a new draft legislation to parliament after another man, who killed his neighbour under the influence of drugs, also seems to have escaped punishment.
Just a few days after a court decision prompting a nationwide outcry, another murderer will escape punishment in France.
The previous court ruling that’s provoked strong reactions concerned Sarah Halimi’s case, a murder committed with an anti-Semitic motive. In April 2017, the perpetrator of the crime, Kolibi Traore, aged 27 at the time, pushed her Jewish neighbour, Sarah Halimi, out of the window, who died of her injuries. However, France’s top court (Court of Cassation) ruled that the Muslim man committed the rime under a strong influence of drugs and is therefore not punishable under the current laws. The court’s rulineg has triggered considerable public outrage, with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets to protest across the country on 25 April. In Paris alone, some 25 thousand people rallied on Trocadero Square to demand the law to be changed and the case to be retried.
President Emmanuel Macron also reacted to the ruling and asked Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti to initiate a change to the law in parliament. The new legislation was submitted on 25 April, with the minister announcing on Twitter that parliament is expected to debate the proposal at the end of May. The new legislation will put an end to the practice of removing the legal responsibility of offenders for crimes committed under the influence of drugs.
After the Halimi scandal, the courts in France made yet another controversial legal decision, ruling that Ali R., a Pakistani national, will not be brought to trial for stabbing to death his former university lecturer, John Dowling, an Irish citizen, in Paris’s La Defense district on 5 December, 2018. The murder was committed in broad daylight on the street in front of the building of Pole Universitaire Leonard-de-Vinci, a private institue, where the professor was a teacher of his future killer. However, as the attacker was found to be struggling with severe mental health issues, the investigating council ruled that he is incapacitated and not accountable for his actions. Instead of imprisonment, the perpetrator has been ordered to undergo forced therapeutic treatment.
The Pakistani man stabbed his victim 27 times, three of which were lethal, Le Parisien reports. The assailant explained his act by his former professor’s anti-Muslim statements. John Dowling, however, was a very peaceful man, who never said such things, Roger Ribault, the victim’s family lawyer told the press, maintaining his position that Mr Dowling was a victim of a terrorist attack.
The defence attorney also said that Ali R. had arrived in France from Pakistan in 2016 to pursue his studies, but he’s a number of brushes with authorities. He called attention to himself with his inappropriate behaviour and improper treatment of women, for which he was dismissed from his university course at the end of the first semester. Despite his removal, he returned to the university on several occasions, only to be escorted out by the on-campus security personnel. Mr Ribault said these cases should have been reported to the authorities, adding that Ali R. was known to be a man who posed a threat to people around him