PARIS (JTA) – A French public prosecutor recommended the maximum sentence for the gang leader who kidnapped and killed Ilan Halimi.
Philippe Bilger argued Tuesday that Youssouf Fofana deserved life in prison with a minimum of 22 years without probation for torturing and killing Halimi, a 23-year-old French Jew, in 2006, with the help of 26 other suspects and members of his gang, the Barbarians.
Bilger maintained that Fofana acted out of anti-Semitic motives.
Sentencing is expected July 11.
Journalists were not allowed inside the courtroom during the trial, but anonymous judicial sources told reporters that the prosecutor said the case was “about an anti-Semitism of hate, of destruction and of death.”
Francis Szpiner, the Halimi family lawyer, told reporters that he was “scandalized” that the other 26 suspects received relatively light sentence recommendations.
Prosecutors recommended 20-year prison terms for Fofana’s two main henchmen, and 12 to 15 years for six other gang members. One of the six was a minor at the time of the crime. The prosecutor said the minor had burned Halimi with a cigarette because he was Jewish, the Associated Press reported.
The Halimi case has “become emblematic of anti-Semitism in France,” according to a Reuters report.