Sarah Halimi case: the Belloubet report released on Monday advocates the status quo on criminal irresponsibility

Calling into question the penal irresponsibility of a person suffering from “a psychic or neuropsychic disorder having abolished his discernment or the control of his acts” at the time of the crime, would lead according to the report to “question our penal structure”.

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According to the conclusions of this report submitted in February and made public on Monday April 26, a few days after the confirmation by the Court of Cassation of the irresponsibility of the murderer of Sarah Halimi, the authors of the text indicate that “the abolition of discernment at the time of the act is exclusive of intention within the meaning of criminal law”.

Also according to this report, commissioned by the former Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet and handed over to the current Minister of Justice Eric Dupond-Moretti, he is not “necessary to modify article 122-1 of the penal code”, which provides that “is not criminally responsible the person who was suffering, at the time of the facts, of a psychic or neuropsychic disorder having abolished his discernment or the control of his acts”. Modifying this principle would lead, according to the report, to “to question our penal structure”.

The question had also arisen of imposing on the investigating chamber of “systematically refer to the Assize Court (or the Criminal Court) in the event of a dissenting opinion from one of the psychiatric experts”, on the criminal irresponsibility of the accused person. The authors of the report say they have “rejected this option considering that it is up to the judge to decide and that it cannot be relieved of this primary mission, a fortiori in the case of magistrates of the seat of the court of appeal”.

However, the report says it understands the “strong emotion” that can arouse “the unbearable crimes that precede” recognition of criminal irresponsibility. On April 14, the Court of Cassation confirmed the criminal irresponsibility of the murderer of Sarah Halimi. Sarah Halimi’s murderer, Kobili Traoré, will not be tried. The Court of Cassation therefore confirmed the decision of the investigating chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal of December 19, 2019, which considered that the murderer’s judgment had been abolished at the time of the facts. On April 4, 2017, Kobili Traore had violently hit her 64-year-old Jewish neighbor, shouting Allah Akbar. The 27-year-old then threw her into the void in the courtyard of their apartment building in Belleville, in eastern Paris. Psychiatric experts who worked on this case agree that he suffered from “delusional puff” during the murder of the sexagenarian.

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