Jun 4, 2009 3:44 pm


John Rosenthal reports on the absurd efforts to cover up the Islamist motivation for the brutal murder. By the way, the French court banned the sale of the magazine with the torture picture seen here.

Given that the trial has been closed to both the public and press, it is difficult to know what exactly has been going on in the trial of Youssouf Fofana and the other members of his so-called “Gang of Barbarians.” As discussed in my earlier NM report here, Fofana and twenty six co-defendants are on trial in Paris for the kidnapping, torture and murder of Ilan Halimi. In 2006, the 23-year-old French Jew was held in captivity under horrifying conditions for over three weeks and then repeatedly stabbed, set on fire and left to die.

One French journalist has, however, developed a kind of “work-around” in order to be able to report on the trial. Elsa Vigoreux of the weekly Nouvel Observateur has been publishing a frequently updated blog on the proceedings based on interviews with persons who are authorized to attend the trial sessions. The sources are not named. Vigoreux’s blog is the only detailed public record available of the trial.

Last Thursday, Youssouf Fofana admitted that he was responsible for killing Ilan Halimi and that he personally doused Halimi in lighter fluid and set him on fire. According to Vigoreux’s account, Fofana referred to the hearsay testimony of his lieutenant Samir Ait Abdelmalek for the other details. Abdelmalek has previously reported that Fofana told him that he stabbed Halimi in the throat and tried to “cut his neck.” On Vigoreux’s account, Fofana said he had no regrets about killing Halimi and even added: “I am proud.” The remark is highly significant. As noted in my earlier NM report, French authorities and the French media have persistently tried to minimize the role played by anti-Semitism in the crime. But if Fofana’s motives were strictly economic, why should he be “proud” of having killed Halimi?

But read the whole thing . . .

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