Apartment-fall death could be hate murder
COURT INVESTIGATORS are examining the possibility that the death of a 65-year-old Jewish woman last week in Paris was a murder motivated by antisemitism.
Sarah Halimi, a member of the Orthodox Yad Mordechai community, was attacked in her home at about 4am. She was then pushed out of her third-floor balcony, according to police sources.
The suspect, her 27-year-old neighbour, was arrested and when police said he was too incoherent to be questioned, he was taken to a psychiatric hospital for evaluation.
The brother of the suspect is in prison on drug-related offences.
Neighbours in the building said the suspect had been aggressive for days before the attack.
Sammy Ghozlan, the head of the BNVCA, an anti-racism watchdog, has been in contact with the victim’s family and police.
He said: “The suspect was apparently under the influence of toxic substances. His own family alerted police that night to have him taken away. Another family in the building also called police. He was apparently trying to escape. Then he entered the victim’s apartment where he attacked her.”
The family that alerted the police told Jewish newspaper Actualité Juive the killer had forced himself into their home as well.
“He said he wanted to spend the night in our home. When I refused he got violent. We’re all traumatised,” said the neighbour, who did not wish to give his name.
Investigators are examining whether the attack was a hate crime.
According to one allegation circulating online, the suspected killer shouted “Allahu Akhbar” before pushing his neighbour to her death.
“Sarah Halimi’s son-in-law says the suspect and other members of his family had repeatedly insulted them as ‘dirty Jews’,” said Mr Ghozlan.
France’s community is on edge as it waits for answers. Jewish community officials have called for calm, asking people to wait for solid information.