By: V4 Agency
Huge crowds have gathered in the capital, some large cities and even in front of the embassy in Tel Aviv to protest the current law, which says those who commit a serious crime under the influence of drugs cannot be considered in control of their actions, meaning they escape punishment.
A decision of France’s highest court, the cour de cassation, has prompted nationwide outcry. The court decided to uphold the ruling that Kobili Traore, the killer of a Jewish woman, was declared unfit to stand trial. Traore killed 65-year-old Sarah Halimi by throwing her from the balcony her Paris apartment in April 2017, while he cried “Allahu Akbar.”
The perpetrator, however, has escaped punishment for now, as the court ruled that he was in the grip of a drug-induced “delusional fit.” The court recognised the killing as an antisemitic crime, but ruled that those committing crimes under the influence of drugs are not punishable under current laws.
Thousands of people gathered in the French capital and several large cities over the weekend to demand the law to be changed and the case to be retried. Some 20 thousand people rallied on Trocadero Square in Paris, demonstrating with banners slogans such as “There is no republic without justice” or “Justice for Sarah Halimi”. Politicians and public figures could also be spotted in the crowd, including Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who announced that a street in the French capital will be named after the woman who died in tragic circumstances, Le Figaro reports.
According to press reports, some 2,000 protesters marched on the streets in Marseille, 1,200 in Lyon, 600 in Strasbourg and Deauville, and 400 in Toulouse and Nice. Some 500 people protested in front of the French embassy in Tel Aviv, and even 150 demonstrators turned out in London, demanding a change of the law.
French President Emmanuel Macron also reacted to the ruling of the court de cassation a few days ago. Mr Macron told the daily Le Figaro in an interview that he found it unacceptable to remove anyone’s responsibility for murder because of being under the influence of drugs. The president also called for new legislation. In response, Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti announced on 25 April that the government had submitted a bill to parliament to close the legal loophole. The bill will be debated at the end of May.