French prosecutors covered up an anti-Semitic killing to avoid inflaming religious tensions during the presidential campaign, according to the victim’s family.
Sarah Halimi, 65, died in Paris after being beaten and thrown out of a window on April 4.
Yesterday her family said the police were wrong to treat the appalling incident simply as a case of murder, claiming the fact Ms Halimi was Jewish was a factor in her death.
Jean-Alexandre Buchinger, a lawyer acting for Ms Halimi’s family, said: “This drama was an anti-Semitic assassination.”
Jewish groups in the city are also said to believe the attack was anti-Semitic and that this aspect of the crime was deliberately covered up because the incident could have generated support for Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front party.
Ms Halimi died after a 27-year-old Parisian man of Malian origin gained entry to her apartment in eastern Paris.
The alleged attacker hit Ms Halimi, tried to suffocate her, and then threw her out of the window “to make it look like a suicide”, according to Mr Buchinger.
The suspect had apparently spent the evening with friends in a flat in the building where Ms Halimi lived. He was arrested there two hours later, charged with murder, and sent to a psychiatric hospital after behaving violently.
Mr Buchinger added that a neighbor made a recording of the attack. It apparently proves the man shouted “Allahu akbar!” (God is great) and called his victim Satan.
Ms Halimi’s family said that the attacker should have been charged with “murder with anti-Semitism as an aggravating circumstance”.