Jewish murder trial begins in Paris

Trial over Jewish man's murder that sparked fears of anti-Semitism in France begins.

    Youssouf Fofana is accused of pre-meditated murder, torture and acts of barbarism [AFP]

    Street protests

    His murder stirred debate on anti-Semitisim in France after police initially refused to consider the case as a hate-crime.

    Hamili's family's lawyers insist he was targeted because he was Jewish.

    Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, Fofana's lawyer, told the court her client was not "the devil" but had been the victims of a "political and religious marketing campaign".

    Halimi went missing in January 2006 while on a date he had met at his workplace - a Paris mobile phone shop.

    The girl lured Halimi to the basement of a building, where he was attacked and subdued.

    His murder came month after France's high-immigrant suburbs exploded into rioting in late 2005.

    Tens of thousands of people took to the street to protest anti-Semitism some two weeks after his body was found.

    The trial is being heard by a juvenile court because two of the defendants were minors at the time of the crime.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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