Suspect in antisemitic murder of Sarah Halimi is not fit to stand trial, psychiatrists say

Their assessment of Kobili Traore's mental state contradicts an earlier psychiatric assessment


A man suspected of murdering Jewish physician Lucette Attal — also known as Sarah Halimi — in Paris last year is not fit to stand trial, a psychiatric evaluation has found. 

Kobili Traore’s mental condition meant he was not responsible for his actions at the time of the killing in April 2017, a panel of three experts concluded.  

It contradicts an earlier evaluation that concluded at the beginning of this year that Mr Traore could be tried. 

Ms Halimi, who was Orthodox, was killed after an assailant broke into her council flat in eastern Paris on the night of April 3 2017. 

Witnesses said she was beaten and called a “demon” in what a judge subsequently ruled was an antisemitic attack. 

Mr Traore, who is originally from Mali and is the only suspect in the case, was also reported to have intimidated the Halimi family and called her daughter “a dirty Jewess” in 2015. 

But after this week’s ruling it is unclear if he will face trial. 

The three psychiatric experts ruled he “suffers from a chronic psychotic disorder, presumably schizophrenic [in] nature”, according to Le Monde

A third evaluation has been ordered to definitively settle the question of his psychiatric condition. 

But the leader of Crif, an umbrella organisation representing French Jews, criticised the multiple delays in starting the trial. 

“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,” Crif’s Francis Kalifat wrote. 

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