Traoré entered Halimi’s apartment at 4am on 4 April 2017 while she was asleep. He allegedly beat her while crying “Allahu Akbar” and reciting Quranic verses, before throwing her over the balcony of her third-floor council flat in the 11th arrondissement of Paris where she had lived for 30 years.
Neighbours told police they heard Traoré shout “I killed the sheitan” – the Arabic word for “devil” – from Halimi’s balcony.
Traoré later told investigators he knew Halimi was Jewish but denied his actions were antisemitic, saying he had acted while in a psychotic episode triggered by cannabis.
It took 10 months and an outcry from Jewish organisations for French authorities to accept an element of antisemitism in the killing of the retired doctor and nursery director.
François Molins, the general prosecutor at the cour de cassation, denied the justice system had been too lax in the Halimi case.