Two French Men on Trial for Murder of Elderly Jewish Woman

The two perpetrators accused of the murder of Mireille Knoll stood trial on Tuesday.

An elderly Jewish woman, Mireille Knoll (85), was found stabbed to death in her partly burnt-down Paris apartment in 2018. The Holocaust survivor’s funeral was attended by President Emmanuel Macron, who considers the murder an antisemitic hate crime, and as such, condemns the act as a defilement of France’s “sacred values and memory”.

Prosecutors are treating the murder as a case of antisemitism-motivated financial gain and hate crime. The two perpetrators, a 25-year-old homeless man with psychiatric problems and the 31-year-old neighbour of Knoll, met in prison and already have past convictions of mutually committed crimes. They are now both accusing each other of killing Knoll. The investigation showed that one of the suspects had an ambivalent attitude towards Islamic extremism.

Both Mihoub and Alex Carrimbacus were present in court for the trial, which is due to last until November 10.

The murder of Knoll is the latest in a series of attacks that have raised concerns among France’s community of 500,000 Jews about how rising Islamic extremism is fueling antisemitism.