Paris, France - Trial of Gang That Killed Jew Suspended after Shoes Thrown
Paris, France - The trial of 26 men accused of torturing and murdering a Jewish man in 2006 was suspended today after their leader threw his shoes at the victim’s lawyers, witnesses said.
Youssof Fofana, who has said he killed 23-year-old Ilan Halimi, hurled his shoes across the courtroom at the legal representatives of the victim’s family. Throwing shoes at someone is a powerful insult in the Arab world.
“He wasn’t worked up,” the defense lawyer for another of the 26 accused said. “The president of the court suspended the hearing in a calm tone.” It was not clear when the hearing would be resumed.
Halimi was kidnapped for more than three weeks and severely tortured in a case that shocked France and highlighted the issue of anti-Semitic violence in the country’s multi-ethnic suburbs.
The trial is being conducted behind closed doors, with no press or public allowed, at the request of two of the defendants who were minors at the time of the killing.
According to a prosecution lawyer, Fofana’s shoe throwing occurred during the presentation of evidence by doctors who examined Halimi’s body.
During his time in detention, Fofana, who is French of Ivorian origin, sent a stream of letters containing anti-Semitic abuse to magistrates investigating the case.
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