EXCLUSIVE. The young Muslim suspected of having defenestrated his Jewish neighbor in April in Paris was heard for the first time by the judge on Monday. L'Express had access to his statements. Before the examining magistrate, the alleged murderer of Sarah Halimi, killed in Paris in April, admitted that he knew the Jewishness of his victim but denied any anti-Semitic act.
After a long silence, unbearable for the relatives of the victim, Kobili T. delivered his first version of the facts. The alleged murderer of Sarah Halimi, Jewish pensioner beaten up and kicked out of window on April 4 in the XNUMXth arrondissement of Paris, was heard by the investigating judge last Monday at the psychiatric hospital where he has been interned for three months. The doctors judged his condition compatible with an interrogation, the first since the crime.
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In his statements, which L'Express has read, the young man of 27 years returns coherently to the course of the bloody night. He recognizes the facts but disputes any dimension anti-Semite. “I felt possessed. I felt like I was oppressed by an external force, a demonic force”, he defends himself, attributing his condition to “the dozen joints” he had smoked. The man confirms that he was not taking any medication. He also has no psychiatric history.
“I shouted 'Bless Satan'”
It was the day before the tragedy that Kobili T. would have felt his first “puffs of anguish”. He remembers going to pray at the mosque, insulting his disabled sister's caregiver and falling asleep at a friend's house in front of the film. The Punisher.
During the night, at 3:30 a.m., he wakes up and goes to the D. family's apartment, whose balcony adjoins that of Sarah Halimi. “I don't know why, he slips to the magistrate, specifying that he had been affected by yet another argument with his mother a little earlier. I felt stressed.”
Among the D, relatives of his long-time family, the alleged killer displays a nervous attitude. He admits having had a "fight" with them, but denies having kidnapped them. “I shouted 'Bless Satan.' They all lock themselves up afterwards. […] I wanted to stay, I don't know why.” Claiming to have felt “pursued”, he says that he began to “recite words from the Koran” in the living room. About 30 minutes later, Kobili enters the victim's home.
“I hit it with the phone, then with my fists”
The young man is unable to explain this intrusion, but claims to have had the feeling of not being safe at the D. “I did not know where I was going to land. It was when I saw a Torah in the apartment, I saw the lady who woke up.” He adds: "I told him 'Call the police, we're going to get mugged'. She called from a landline.” A bloody handset, the batteries spread on the ground, was discovered by the investigators.
Kobili then begins to hit Sarah Halimi with senseless violence, which he does not hide. “I hit it with the phone, then with my fists. Then I don't know what came over me, I picked her up and threw her out the window [from the balcony, actually]".
There again, he does not pour out on the triggering element of his murderous enterprise. He just remembers a moment of panic and a confused exchange about the number of the building with his victim. On several occasions during his hearing, he hides behind “I don’t know”.
– Neighbors say they heard “Allahu Akbar”, pointed out the examining magistrate.
“I don't remember saying that.
Similarly, Kobili does not recall shouting “You are going to pay”. Many witnesses, however, told investigators that they heard a mixture of screams, threats and religious references, in French and Arabic. The man was arrested at 5:35 a.m. by three police officers from the Anti-Crime Squad (BAC), who had arrived on the scene nearly an hour earlier. “I thought it was demons”, he repeats in front of the magistrate.
"It's horrible. I should never have done that”
Asked about his links with the retiree, the young killer is more talkative. Yes, he knew she had been his upstairs neighbor, for “at least ten years”. Yes, he was aware of her assiduous religious practice. How? “His way of dressing, with traditional clothes to go to the synagogue, or his children when they came and had the yarmulke.”
On the other hand, Kobili denies that the religion of Sarah Halimi motivated her gesture. “I am not anti-Semitic. It could have fallen on anyone,” he defends himself, stating that he never had any problems with the Jewish community. He consents to some regrets. "It's horrible. I should never have done that, it's probably because I had smoked too much cannabis.”
“I have the feeling of a denial of justice”
After his hearing, he was put on trial for “intentional homicide” and “forcible confinement”. The aggravating circumstance of anti-Semitism has not been retained at this stage, to the chagrin of the lawyers of the relatives of Sarah Halimi.
“I have the feeling of a denial of justice, vituperating master Jean-Alex Buchinger. His answers are clear, structured and prepared. They prove that he was not in a state of dementia either at the material time or today. He was aware that Madame Halimi was Jewish. The Islamist and anti-Semitic connotation of his act is undeniable.” Maître Gilles-William Goldnadel agrees: “I find it rather incongruous that justice does not retain the anti-Semitic dimension when an Islamist tortures someone for half an hour while shouting 'Allah akbar'”.
For these lawyers, Kobili has a selective memory and does not assume “to have targeted his victim”. They suspect him of having prepared his answers by reading the press. “Everything we try to convey through the media is false,” cleared the young man before the judge, admitting to having been aware of the commotion caused by his crime in the Jewish community. Kobili was placed under arrest warrant but remains hospitalized.
Source: © “I threw her out the window”: the statements of the alleged killer of Sarah Halimi – L'Express