Sister of murdered Jewish woman Sarah Halimi takes legal battle to Israeli courts

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Sister of murdered Jewish woman Sarah Halimi takes legal battle to Israeli courts

Esther Lekover wants to use a law that allows citizens to file complaints about antisemitic crimes committed abroad

Michael Daventry is Jewish News’s foreign and broadcast editor

Sarah Halimi
Sarah Halimi was killed in 2017

The sister of an Orthodox Jewish woman murdered in Paris will file a criminal complaint against her killer in Israel after French authorities said he was not responsible for his actions.

Sarah Halimi, 65, died in 2017 after Kobili Traore attacked her in her home while shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

He later pushed her out of the window of her Paris flat onto the street below.

The case generated global outrage in April, when France’s highest court ruled Traore was not criminally responsible for Halimi’s death because he had succumbed to a “delirious fit” after smoking cannabis.

This week Halimi’s sister Esther Lekover sought to draw on an Israeli law that allows citizens to file complaints about antisemitic crimes committed abroad.

If successful, it would be the first time the law was used, but the Times of Israel reported Lekover’s bid was unlikely to advance because France does not extradite its citizens to other countries.

Lawyers representing Halimi’s family also plan to refer the case to the European Court of Human Rights.

French president Emmanuel Macron has promised a new law to prevent assailants avoiding trial because of drug use.

But it will not apply retrospectively, meaning Traore cannot be convicted in France for Halimi’s death.

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