French court jails three for notorious antisemitic rape and robbery
A French court on Friday handed jail sentences to three men who carried out a notorious anti-Semitic rape-robbery in a Paris suburb in 2014.
Abdou Salam Koita, 26, and Ladje Haidara, 23, who committed the rape were in court to hear the verdict.
Houssame Hatri, 22, who made the antisemitic slurs during the attack in December 2014, remains on the run.
They were given jail terms of eight, 13 and 16 years respectively by the court in Val-de-Marne, southeast of the French capital.
The three were hooded and armed when they attacked a young couple in an apartment in the Creteil suburb of the French capital.
During the attack they bound and gagged their victims before searching the apartment and making off with jewelry and bank cards.
“Jews do not put money in the bank,” one of them was heard to say.
During the attack Hatri also said that it was “for my brothers in Palestine” before suggesting they should “gas” their victims with teargas.
Defense lawyer Marie Dose denied her clients were antisemitic, saying instead that “they were ignorant”.
Two accomplices received sentences of five and six years in jail.
Jonathan and Laurine, the victims of the attack who are both aged 23, were at the home of Jonathan’s parents when the attack happened.
The female victim, just 19 at the time, was raped. Hatri asked her if she was Jewish, the court heard.
“I am nothing,” she replied.
Following the crime the French government declared the battle against anti-Semitism to be a “national cause”.
Occurring amid a major increase in antisemitic violence in France accompanying Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza that year, the incident echoed for many the traumatic murder and torture in 2006 of Ilan Halimi, a Jewish phone salesman who was abducted by a gang led by a career criminal with a history of targeting mostly Jewish victims.
Some French Jews regard that incident as the turning point in the emergence of an unprecedented wave of violence against Jews in France and Belgium, where more than 12 people have died since 2012 in at least three jihadist attacks on Jewish targets.