French judge quits after 'killer' of Jewish woman let off over drugs

French Jewish judge quits after Muslim who threw a Jewish woman to her death from her balcony while screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’ is let off because cannabis left him ‘delusional’

  • Jack Broda quits his post in Nancy over case that sparked global protests
  • Sarah Halimi died after she was beaten and thrown off her Paris balcony in 2017
  • France’s highest court ruled Kobili Traoré was unfit for trial due to cannabis use
  • Neighbours heard suspect shout ‘Allahu Akbar!’ during anti-Semitic killing  
  • The French government has promised to change the law to prevent similar cases

A French-Jewish judge has resigned in protest after a controversial high court decision not to prosecute a man who killed a 65-year-old Jewish woman because he was on drugs at the time. 

Jack Broda quit his post at the Tribunal of Commerce of Nancy, in eastern France, over the decision, which has seen demonstrations in France and globally. 

‘I decided to resign over the ruling, which at first I couldn’t believe,’ said Broda,  according to Le Figaro. 

‘My resignation was accepted and regretted.’ 

The case sparked global protests, including outside the French consulate in Los Angeles, California (above)

Sarah Halimi, 65, an orthodox Jew, was beaten and thrown off her Paris balcony in 2017

He also called for a new trial and welcomed plans by the French government to change the law on crimes committed after taking drugs. 

Sarah Halimi, 65, died after being beaten and thrown from a balcony in her Paris apartment in 2017. 

French courts have recognised the killing as an anti-Semitic crime. 

But this month France’s highest court, the cour de cassation, upheld an earlier ruling that suspect Kobili Traoré was unfit to stand trial as he was in a ‘delusional fit’ at the time caused by smoking cannabis. 

Protesters outside the Eiffel Tower in Paris (above) rally calling for justice for Sarah Halimi

Celebrities including former French first lady Carla Bruni (above) have attended demonstrations 

Traoré, 32, is currently in a psychiatric hospital. 

The decision sparked protests across France as well as in London, Rome, Tel Aviv, Los Angeles, Miami and New York. 

Halimi’s sister, Esther Lekover, is seeking to prosecute Traoré via an Israeli court using a law that means charges can be brought for offences against an Israeli citizen such as Lekover. However, France does not extradite French nationals to other countries. 

The killing has drawn extra attention as neighbours claim Traoré shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and recited verses from the Qur’an while beating Halimi. 

France has suffered a number of Islamist terrorist attacks, including many targeting Jews. 

In Knightsbridge, London, outside the French Embassy protesters call for solidarity with French Jews, with signs recalling earlier antisemitic attacks

The satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, whose offices were fatally attacked by Islamist terrorists in 2015, ran a cover this week with a Muslim man lighting eight joints with a Jewish menorah, and the headline: ‘Should we decriminalize antisemitism?’ 

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: ‘It is a testament to the failure of France’s justice system that Sarah Halimi’s family are now having to travel 3,000 miles to seek justice in Israeli courts. 

‘The deep anguish and disgust of French Jews is slowly becoming clear, with a Jewish judge, Jack Broda, now feeling unable to remain in the judiciary given his colleagues’ decision to refuse to try Dr Halimi’s murderer.’

They added: ‘This sad affair shows that France is betraying its vow in the wake of the Holocaust to defend its Jewish population from antisemitism.’

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