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Murder of 89-year-old Jewish man in Lyon: prosecutor says investigation expanded to determine antisemitic motivation

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On the evening of May 17, the body of the 89-year-old man was discovered lifeless, just outside his apartment building in Lyon. He was pushed to his death on from the balcony of his 17th floor  apartment.  His fate brought to mind the murder in April 2017 of Sarah Halimi, a 64-year-old Jewish woman who was beaten and tortured in her Paris apartment by an Islamist intruder, who then ejected her from her third-floor apartment.

 

A French prosecutor in the city of Lyon said Friday that the investigation into the brutal murder of René Hadjadj earlier this month would be expanded to determine whether the facts are of an antisemitic nature.

On the evening of May 17, the body of the 89-year-old man was discovered lifeless, just outside his apartment building in Lyon. He was pushed to his death on from the balcony of his 17th floor  apartment.  His fate brought to mind the murder in April 2017 of Sarah Halimi, a 64-year-old Jewish woman who was beaten and tortured in her Paris apartment by an Islamist intruder, who then ejected her from her third-floor apartment. After what was widely considered a botched investigation, her killer, Kobili Traore, was found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity because he was under the effects of cannabis.

“Following elements collected on social networks and which have just been brought to the attention of the prosecutor’s office, the latter has decided to expand the referral of investigating judges to the aggravating circumstance of an act committed because of the victim’s membership in a particular ethnic group, nation, race or religion,” said the Lyon prosecutor, Nicolas Jacquet.

Hadjadj’s 51-year-old neighbor, whom he used to visit regularly, is suspected of having pushed him from the 17th floor after an argument. The suspect was put in examination and placed in provisional detention.

The National Bureau of Vigilance against Antisemitism (BNVCA)  announced last week its intention to be a civil party in this case.

“The BNVCA can not resolve in a context of rising anti-Semitism that an act of such barbarity is not studied with the required attention, including that of the context in which the neighbor was evolving, “wrote the association which monitors antisemitic acts in France.

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