France / 29-04-2012
The Merah affair - court defines his crimes as antisemitic crimes
Approximately a month after the Toulouse slaughter at the Ozar HaTorah Jewish School, that took place on Monday, March 19th, the Paris court provided now a complementary argumentation. The prosecutor is now asking the four investigative judges that are conducting the investigation about the murders perpetrated by the "murderer on a motorcycle" to adopt the following judicial definition: "Victims' belongingness or non-belongingness, whether real or prima facie, to a certain congregation, nation, race or religion, in this case - to the Jewish religion".
Those aggravating circumstances refer only to the last assassinations perpetrated by Muhammad Merah when he coldly murdered 30 year old Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, his two sons - 4 year old Gabriel and 5 year old Arieh, and 7 year old Miriam Monsonego, near Ozar HaTorah School. That same day the murderer also seriously injured a 15 year old boy who was standing at the reception near that institution. Bryan Bijaoui was saved thanks to the doctors and he is currently continuing his rehabilitation process in Antibes, where his family lives.
The Sandler family's lawyers have been requesting for some weeks now that aggravating circumstances of antisemitism be adopted. "To ignore the antisemitic characteristic of Merah and his possible partners in crime, means to persist in not understanding anything concerning the murders that were perpetrated in Toulouse on March 19th", said lawyer Patrick Klugman.
During the negotiation with the commando teams, it seemed that Muhammad Merah had said on that same day, four days after the killings of two paratroopers in Montauban that he was willing to murder "another" soldier before he changed his mind, due to not having managed to arrive at his "destination".
This statement is a part of hundreds of elements which the judicial police investigators, under the direction of the counter-terrorism unit and the Toulouse SRPJ (the regional service of the judicial police) should examine. The brother of "the murderer on a motorcycle", Abd El Kadr Merah was detained, among other things, due to "cooperating in a murder", and he's been staying since then at the Fresnes detention center. He was accused by his second brother of being an "antisemite". Abd el Kadr's role in his brother's sanguinary madness is still arousing many questions whether he was the "initiator" of Muhammad's activity or only a very much religious person. It's one of the challenges that are being faced in the the investigation that is currently being conducted.