Ilan Halimi: lured to a basement, then tortured for three weeks, before being murdered.
Today, finally, a Muslim mob known as ‘the barbarians’ goes on trial for the torture and murder of Ilan Halimi.
Halimi, 23, disappeared in January 2006, during a date with a girl he had met through his work, in Paris. But the girl wasn’t actually interested in dating Ilan. Instead, she was the ‘honeytrap’ – and she lured him to the basement of a building in a Paris suburb.
Inside, Ilan was attacked, drugged with ether, handcuffed, and then his feet and mouth bound with tape. He was then moved to a vacant flat in Bagneux, another Parisian suburb. The gang’s ringleader, Youssouf Fofana, then demanded 450,000 euros from Ilan’s family.
He sent pictures of Ilan, blindfolded and bruised, and also a videotape of Ilan pleading for his life. On February 13th, Ilan was loaded into the trunk of a stolen car. Several hours later, a train driver glimpsed his naked body, handcuffed to a tree near the railway tracks, and called the police.
Ilan died on the way to hospital.
Youssouf Fofana, and 27 others are to answer various charges during the trial, which will be held before a Paris juvenile court, as two defendants were minors at the time of the murder.
Prosecutors have described Mr Fofana, 28, as a “perverted megalomaniac”, obsessed with kidnapping Jews. He escaped to the Ivory Coast shortly after the murder but was arrested and extradited to France.
Also known as “Ossama” and “Mohammed”, Mr Fofana admitted to the murder – but later changed his story a number of times, frequently lapsing into unintelligible anti-Semitic rants. He has switched lawyers almost 40 times.
The French-born son of Ivorian immigrants is accused of stabbing Mr Halimi and dousing his body with alcohol before setting him alight because the victim “looked at him in the eyes” before he was let go.
Tens of thousands took to the streets to march against anti-Semitism after the brutal crime.The murder came just months after France’s high-immigrant suburbs exploded into three weeks of nightly riots, and rapidly took on political overtones.
The victim’s mother has accused police of having botched the investigation by ruling out anti-Semitism as a factor in the crime. “If Ilan wasn’t Jewish, he wouldn’t have been killed,” she has pointed out. Ruth Halimi is expected to urge the court to open the hearings to the public today to provide a full accounting of her son’s death.
Prosecutors believe the gang had used women to lure nine other men in the kidnapping scheme but that these attempts failed. The “Barbarians” also tried to racketeer several doctors and company bosses.
Original story: Daily Telegraph