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France

'Barbarians gang' awaits verdict as trial ends

Video by FRANCE 3 , Carla WESTERHEIDE

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-07-08

The trial of 27 people accused of abducting and killing Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Jewish salesman in 2006, ended on Wednesday with yet another provocation from the gang leader Youssof Fofana, who compared himself to a lion.

The trial of 27 people accused of the abduction and death of a 23-year-old Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, ended on Wednesday. The jury is expected to deliver its decision on Friday or Saturday.

The prosecution called for life imprisonment for Youssof Fofana, the leader of the group who admitted planning Halimi's abduction in January 2006 and killing him. The other members of the self-proclaimed "Gang of Barbarians" risk punishment ranging from suspended sentences to several years in jail.

Several gang members have admitted abducting Hamili because he was Jewish and they believed that "Jews had money".

Halimi was approached at his workplace in Paris by a young woman used as "bait" by Fofana on January 20. He and the woman went together to an apartment in the south of Paris, where he was overwhelmed by gang members.

Ransom negotiations with the gang failed. After 24 days of brutal captivity he was stabbed, burned alive and abandoned near a train station. He died when rescue workers tried to rush him to the hospital.

Date created : 2009-07-08

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