French prosecutor requests punishment for victim of racist car-ramming attack
A French prosecutor has requested punishment for the victim of a hate crime in eastern France, after he was verbally and physically attacked in proximity of his home.
Adil Sefrioui, 41, was attacked by a 72-year-old Frenchman in the town of Dole on April 21. The man, identified as Bernard D., rammed his car into Sefrioui after spewing racist insults.
Prosecutor Lionel Pascal asked a court in Lons-le-Saunier, in Jura province, that the aggressor get a six-month sentence on charges of "intentional violence" and "racist violence."
Sefrioui's lawyers and non-governmental organisations demanded that he be charged with "attempted murder" as he allegedly acted with the intent to kill.
The prosecutor, however, also requested that Sefrioui be fined €1,100 for insults, mild violence, and humiliation.
The two men traded insults, with the attacker calling the victim "dirty North African" and Sefrioui calling him a "dirty fascist."
The incident was sparked by claims by Sefrioui and his wife that Bernard D. had been taking pictures of their children as they played on the family’s front porch.
Footage taken by the victim’s wife shows the man standing beyond the garden fence as the woman engages in a conversation with him. "What are you doing taking pictures of the children?" she asked.
The man denied any wrongdoing and Sefrioui, who was standing on the street with him, rebuffed his claims. "We have seen you," he says.
Bernard D. is seen opening the trunk of his car and advancing towards Sefrioui brandishing a wrench. He then walked back to the car and drove away, while Sefrioui held on to the vehicle’s doors, calling on the man to stop the car.
Sefrioui can be seen walking back to his home just as the car turns around and rams into him.
A lawyer represented the attacker, who did not attend the hearing. The elderly man, who has no criminal record, is pleading innocent and claiming he acted in self-defence.
The next hearing is scheduled for July 6. Sefrioui, who testified in court, said he would not accept being depicted as a perpetrator.
He survived the attack with multiple fractures and a broken nose and finger. In a televised interview, Sefrioui said he could not sleep and was tormented by questions over the motives of the aggression.