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Mireille Knoll’s murder sparked an outcry over anti-Semitism in France
A man who murdered an elderly Jewish woman in her Paris apartment has been sentenced to life in prison.
Yacine Mihoub, 32, was convicted of stabbing 85-year-old Mireille Knoll 11 times and then setting her body alight during a botched robbery in March 2018.
Her killing sparked public outcry over anti-Semitism in France.
Knoll, who had narrowly escaped a round-up of Parisian Jews to Nazi death camps during World War Two, was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
An accomplice, Alex Carrimbacus, 25, was jailed for 15 years for robbery, motivated by anti-Semitism.
Knoll lived next door to Mihoub’s mother, and the court heard that she had acted as a surrogate grandmother to her killer when he was a child.
The court said the attack was fuelled by a “context of anti-Semitism” and “prejudices” about the purported wealth of Jewish people. This led Mihoub to believe Knoll had “hidden treasures” in her home.
Carrimbacus claimed he heard Mihoub shout “Allahu Akbar”, meaning “God is greatest”, while stabbing her.
Both Mihoub and Carrimbacus blamed each other for the murder.
Knoll’s murder shocked France’s Jewish community and prompted anger over anti-Semitism in the country.
Tens of thousands of people, including government ministers, took part in a silent march in memory of Knoll.
The trial took place against a backdrop of rising violent acts against French Jews perpetrated by radical Islamists.
Knoll’s death came just a year after Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Jewish woman, was thrown to her death from her Paris apartment by a man shouting “Allahu Akbar”.
Her killer, Kobili Traoré, was deemed not criminally responsible in April because his mind was affected by regular consumption of cannabis.