French trial of gang accused of assaulting Jewish family begins – .

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Nine individuals accused of taking a Jewish family hostage in their Parisian home in 2017 began their trial on Monday. The case concerns the Pinto family, who before the attack were well known to Parisian Jews for their active involvement in the community. They allege that an anti-Semitic gang entered their home on September 8, 2017, abusing and robbing three family members. The Algemeiner recounted the family’s horrific experience, noting that it started when their 41-year-old son David Pinto woke up due to a power outage at the family home in the Livry-Gargan neighborhood in Paris. David went to the basement to check the electric meter, opening a door that allowed three assailants, who had set a trap by cutting off the power supply, to break into the house.

The three men allegedly gagged David, then did the same with his 73-year-old mother, Mireille. She reminded the Algemeiner that the attackers had hit, kicked and attempted to rape her. The gang also beat up Mireille’s husband, Roger, leaving him unconscious. The Algemeiner reported that after regaining consciousness, one of the attackers told Mr. Pinto that he was being targeted because “the Jews have a lot of money.”
However, lawyers for the nine defendants – the three assailants and six others who aided them in the theft – dispute the allegation that anti-Semitism was a factor. They said the defendants took note of Mireille Pinto weeks before the theft, describing her as a “classy lady with beautiful jewelry” they tracked down on the way home. At least one defendant is said to have claimed that he “did not know” that his victims were Jewish.

Several thousand euros in cash were stolen while the Pintos were tied up and locked in a room. After a few hours, Mireille Pinto managed to call for help using her son’s phone.

After the attack, the Pinto moved away from the Livry-Gargan district where they had been established figures of the Jewish community for thirty years. Mireille Pinto still suffers from trauma from the attack, while her husband was later diagnosed with cancer.

The trial of the nine defendants, which should last nine days, is eagerly awaited by a French Jewish community still reeling from the decision of the country’s highest court in April to excuse the accused anti-Semitic killer of Sarah Halimi from the trial. In 2017, Halimi, a Jewish woman, was brutally murdered in her Paris apartment. The assailant was excused on the grounds that his cannabis use had made him temporarily mad and therefore not criminally responsible.

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