Kobili Traore, the Malian immigrant who allegedly killed Jewish physician Sarah Halimi in her home in Paris in 2017, is unfit to stand trial following a court-ordered evaluation, French media reported on Thursday.
This was the second psychiatric evaluation that Traore has undergone since he was charged in the killing of Halimi, his neighbor in Paris 11th arrondissement. Prosecutors say that on April 4, 2017, Traore, who is Muslim, broke into her home and shouted “God is great” and “Satan” in Arabic, crushed her skull and then threw her out the window of her third-story apartment.
After his first psychiatric evaluation, mental health experts told the court that he could stand trial and investigators said his slurs at Halimi showed an “antisemitic motive.” But the new evaluation contradicts that claim because he is deemed to have not been responsible for his actions.
The new evaluation reinforces the perception among the French Jewish community that authorities are trying to make this case go away. The community is also outraged that it took more than four months before the case was classified as a hate crime and has criticized the little media coverage it received.
Francis Kalifat, who is the president of Jewish umbrella organization CRIF, said the authorities must not let the killer evade justice. “We do not understand the determination and procrastination that consistently seeks to turn this killer into a demented person when he is a murderer whose presumed detention doesn’t even hide his hateful antisemitism,” he said, according to The Jewish Chronicle.
Traore has a criminal record and served time in prison over various incidents involving drugs, break-ins and violence. According to Halimi’s daughter, he would occasionally call Halimi “a dirty Jew.” Eyewitnesses also said that on the night of the murder, first responders did not try to stop him despite being dispatched to scene before he killed her.