PARIS (JTA) — The mother of Ilan Halimi says police would not admit the anti-Semitic nature of the crime in which her son was killed.
In her book “24 Days,” released Thursday, Ruth Halimi writes that French police never suspected her son’s kidnappers would kill the 23-year-old after three weeks in captivity in 2006, partly because they would not face the anti-Semitic character of the crime, the French daily Le Figaro reported Wednesday.
Members of the group suspected of kidnapping Ilan Halimi later told investigators they hoped to ransom the kidnapped man because they believed Jews were rich. Ilan Halimi, a cellular phone salesman, was found naked, bound and disfigured beside a subway line south of Paris.
Book co-author Emilie Freche explained that “by denying the anti-Semitic character, [police] did not figure out the profile of the gang,” Le Figaro reported.
Ilan Halimi’s parents were instructed to stay silent during the three weeks of his capture and could not seek aid in order to pay the ransom, nor show their son’s photo to people who might have come forward with information about his whereabouts, according to reports.
“The police were completely off the mark,” said Ruth Halimi in a March 27 interview with Elle magazine. “They thought they were dealing with classic bandits, but these people were beyond the norm.”
Halimi wrote the book to “alert public opinion to the danger of anti-Semitism which has returned in other forms, so that a story like this can never happen again,” she told Elle.
As many as 28 members of the gang, which called itself the Barbarians, will go on trial for Halimi’s death at the end of April. The trial is expected to remain closed to the public, despite Halimi’s expressed wish that it be open.