Emotion and anger intact at the inauguration of the Sarah Halimi and Mireille Knoll garden in Nogent


“We Jews are tired of always being the scapegoats of history. We only want one thing, we French of the Jewish faith: to live in our dear country, France, with all our compatriots. This “Cry of the heart” came to conclude the testimony of William Attal, brother of Sarah Halimi.

Born in Nogent-sur-Marne, Lucie Attal, who became Sarah Halimi, lived her youth there and got married there. A medical graduate, this mother of three children, an Orthodox Jew, was then director of a crèche. She had recently retired when she was murdered in her Paris apartment in the 11th arrondissement, at the age of 65, in April 2017. Her murderer, Kobili T, 27 at the time of the incident, lives in the apartment of his mother, located below that of Sarah Halimi. A heavy consumer of cannabis, he has been convicted twenty times for theft, violence or drug trafficking. If his legal file does not mention any mental disorders, his behavior is perceived as strange in the days preceding the murder. He also frequents a nearby Salafist mosque. The night of the murder, he smoked many joints with a friend before going to his victim’s house via the balcony of a neighboring family, whom he threatens on the way. He beat his victim with his phone, then punched and kicked, while reciting suras from the Koran, before throwing her out of the balcony, shouting “I killed the sheitan (demon in Arabic) of the neighborhood”. During the trial, the accused explains his act by a sequence of insanity, without recognizing its anti-Semitic character. After several psychiatric assessments, the culprit will finally be considered criminally irresponsible by the courts. An unbearable conclusion for the family who insists on the voluntary taking of psychotropic drugs. The Court of Cassation will nevertheless maintain the initial judgments, arguing that the law does not distinguish the level of responsibility according to the origin of the mental disorder having abolished discernment. Since this case, French law has been modified. The law of January 24, 2022 henceforth limits the penal irresponsibility in case of taking psychoactive products. For those close to Sarah Halimi, this does not change the judgment, however, and the anger remained palpable on Wednesday, on the side of the family as well as members of the Jewish community who came to pay homage to him.

“I am ashamed for France”, insists Myriam, retired from education, spontaneously evoking the subject before the start of the ceremony, while another participant abounds.

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Testimony of William Attal

In his inauguration speech, Stéphane Bitton, delegated municipal councillor, spoke for his part of a “legal scandal”and also returned to the mess that led police sent to the scene to stay behind the door, another reason for anger.

He then mentioned the murder of Mireille Knoll, which occurred barely a year after that of Sarah Halimi, also in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, in her HLM housing on avenue Philippe Auguste. Suffering from Parkinson’s disease and unable to move around except in a wheelchair, this widowed Holocaust survivor lived alone. His body was found partly burned and stabbed 11 times on Friday March 23, 2018. This time, the crime, committed by Yacine M, 28 years old at the time of the events and a neighbor of the victim, is recognized as having an anti-Semitic character. . The murderer is sentenced to life imprisonment. His accomplice, Alex C, 21, is acquitted of the murder but sentenced to 15 years for anti-Semitic theft. To evoke his memory, it was his two children, Daniel and Allan, who took turns speaking, between tears and anger.

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Opening the inauguration of this garden, located on avenue de Joinville, in front of the new building erected above the RER A station, the mayor, Jacques JP Martin (LR), insisted on the message of “total support for families” and “firmness” that he wanted to send, “beyond the symbol”, by this new city entrance.


Emotion and anger intact at the inauguration of the Sarah Halimi and Mireille Knoll garden in Nogent-sur-Marne | Citizens.com