Afghan killer of pro-migrant association president spared jail due to mental incapacity

Retired teacher Jean Dussine was murdered by Amir Hussein Najafi at his home in Cherbourg, northwestern France, on May 12, 2020.
By Thomas Brooke
3 Min Read

A 23-year-old Afghan national who beat to death the president of a pro-migrant activist organization in his own home has avoided prison time after being declared mentally incapacitated due to his diagnosed “paranoid psychosis.”

As Remix News previously reported, Killer Amir Hussein Najafi, who was 21 at the time of the offense, beat 63-year-old Jean Dussine repeatedly with an iron bar at his home in Cherbourg, northwestern France, on May 12, 2020.

Mr. Dussine was a retired teacher and had been serving as president of migrant assistance group Itinérance. He had been hosting the Afghan national at the time of his death.

Najafi had been in pre-trial detention following his arrest on suspicion of murder. Despite initially making allegations of rape against his victim and claiming Mr. Dussine had attempted to steal €4,000 from him, he later confessed the murder to French authorities.

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Despite being detained in prison ahead of sentencing, a psychiatric examination of Najafi concluded the attacker had been subjected to an episode of “paranoid psychosis” when he committed the offense, resulting in the “abolition of his discernment” during the attack.

As such, questions were raised as to how appropriate it was for Najafi to receive a custodial sentence for the attack, and experts suggested his mental incapacity meant he would be best placed being admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

French prosecutors agreed during a hearing before the investigating chamber of the Caen Court of Appeal on Jan. 24 during which Najafi, now 23 years of age, could be seen bobbing his head back and forth and refusing to raise his head. “In France, we don’t judge mad people,” confirmed Bruno Albisetti, the advocate general representing the prosecution.

On Monday, the Caen Court of Appeal formally found the defendant irresponsible for the murder of Mr. Dussine due to mental incapacity, explaining their decision followed the advice of three psychiatric experts who had examined Najafi in prison.

As such, the 23-year-old will now reside in a psychiatric hospital until such a time as he is deemed safe to be released. The court also followed the attorney general’s request for Najafi to be the subject of a 20-year ban from stepping foot into the French region of Manche. He is also prohibited from possessing a weapon.

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