Court tosses defendant in Halimi trial after he hurls shoes

PARIS (JTA) — The accused leader of the gang that kidnapped and killed a French Jew was expelled from court after throwing shoes.

Youssouff Fofana twice threw shoes last Thursday toward the bench where the family of  victim Ilan Halimi and other plaintiffs normally sit, according to French reports. The Halimi family was not in court when the incident took place, the French daily Le Figaro reported.

The trial against Fofana and 26 others involved in the 2006 kidnapping, torture and murder of Halimi, 23, is closed to journalists. All reports about the trial are communicated through intermediaries who have access to the trial.

"All the Jews in the world are there, in the [plaintiff] box," Fofana reportedly shouted. "They are my enemies. This is an Arab attack with a booby-trapped shoe."

Fofana and some of the 26 others also are facing charges of anti-Semitism because some suspects told police they targeted Halimi because he was Jewish. Fofana supposedly believed Jews were well connected and wealthy, and therefore worth a larger ransom, according to testimony given to police.

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