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CRIME

Anti-Jewish killer posts videos from jail

Youssouf Fofana, the leader of a gang known as the Barbarians is suspected of posting anti-Semitic videos online. Fofana was jailed in 2009 for torturing and killing a Jewish man in the Paris suburbs.

“I am Fofana, Youssouf, a young Muslim who has flaws and who has made mistakes,” says the man on the videos posted on YouTube. The man insists he is a “war trophy” taken by New York zionists, le daily L’Est-Eclair reveals.

“It’s unacceptable to see something like that today,” said Emmanuel Gauthrin, an official working for the prison section of the trade union FO, in an interview with Le Monde.

French prosecutors in the town of Troyes have opened a inquiry into how the videos were posted on the web. Le Monde reports that Fofana’s cell was searched and that no recording equipment was found inside.

Fofana, the leader of a gang called the Barbarians, was handed a life sentence in 2009 for the murder of a Jewish man Ilan Halimi.

Halimi was held for three weeks by Fofana and several other gang members in the basement of building in the Paris outskirts. He was found naked, severaly burnt and handcuffed to a tree.

Halimi was lured into a trap set up by Fofana and his accomplices when he was approached by a female gang member in a mobile phone shop.

FRENCH POLITICS

French minister investigated after rape allegations

A junior minister in President Emmanuel Macron's government is under investigation after two allegations of rape were brought against her, French prosecutors have said.

French minister investigated after rape allegations

The allegations go back to when Chrysoula Zacharopoulou – who is now state secretary for development, Francophonie and international partnerships – worked as a gynaecologist, according to French magazine Marianne.

One complaint was lodged on May 25th and the investigation opened two days later, the prosecutors said. The second complaint was filed on June 16th.

Greece-born Zacharopoulou, 46, joined the government of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne in May, having been a member of the European Parliament for the previous three years. She reports to Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna.

She gained prominence in 2015 by campaigning for greater public awareness of endometriosis together with actress Julie Gayet, who this year married former French president Francois Hollande.

Zacharopoulou was strongly involved in the UN’s COVAX coronavirus vaccine rollout effort, and has spoken out in favour of women’s reproductive rights.

These are not the first rape allegations to overshadow Macron’s government and come at a time of political difficulty for the president after he failed to retain a majority in parliamentary elections.

Prosecutors investigated Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin over an allegation for rape filed in 2017. He denied any wrongdoing and prosecutors in
January asked for the case to be dropped.

Rape allegations were also made against Solidarities minister Damien Abad last month but French prosecutors have said they were not currently opening an investigation.

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