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December 8, 2021 3:11 pm

Antisemitic Killer of Sarah Halimi Refused Treatment From Jewish Nurse at Psychiatric Hospital, French Parliamentary Inquiry Told

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avatar by Ben Cohen

A postcard campaign calling for justice for Sarah Halimi addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo: courtesy of Israelite Consistoire of Haut-Rhin

A French parliamentary inquiry into the April 2017 murder of a Jewish woman in her own home by an antisemitic assailant has heard that the accused killer refused to be treated by a Jewish nurse at the psychiatric hospital where he is under observation.

The inquiry into the murder of 65-year-old Sarah Halimi by Kobili Traore — who chanted Islamic prayers as he beat his victim senseless, before throwing her body out of a third-floor window — learned details of Traore’s daily life in hospital from a French journalist who gave testimony. Earlier this year, France’s highest court excused Traore from a criminal trial, on the grounds that his intake of cannabis on the night that he murdered Halimi had rendered him temporarily insane, drawing furious protests from the Jewish community.

Quoting an unnamed source in the hospital where Traore presently resides, Christophe Dansette, a journalist with broadcaster France 24, told the Dec 1. hearing that Traore was not receiving any treatment from doctors there.

“He is not sick, he is a great impersonator,” Dansette said.

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Dansette revealed that his source told him that as well as continuing to smoke cannabis, Traore was supplying it to other patients at the hospital.

The source said that Traore “watches TV a lot, never misses one of the five [Muslim] prayers of the day and that he gets angry easily.”

Traore was also permitted outside visits with relatives, Dansette said.

“He had outing permissions and was able to go, accompanied, to his family for a whole weekend,” he said.

Dansette claimed that Traore had refused treatment from a Jewish nurse at the hospital “for fear of being consumed by his demons and starting again.” During the murder of Halimi, neighbors overheard Traore screaming the word “Shaitan” — Arabic for “Satan” — as he punched and kicked his victim.

However, Dansette added that Traore’s attitude to the Jewish nurse had been encouraged by another member of the nursing staff, who was no longer working at the hospital. His source had told him that Halimi’s killer “blames himself a great deal for what he did,” said Dansette.

The Halimi murder and its aftermath was a major shock for French Jews amid a climate of rising antisemitism. When the decision to excuse Traore from trial was announced on April 14, a statement from Crif — the umbrella body representing French Jews — declared that “now in our country, we can torture and kill Jews with impunity.”

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