Hypercacher trial: Cashier recalls “Worst 4 Hours” of Her Life

The trial in France of 14 suspects in the January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris will hear testimony from the woman who was working as a cashier at the kosher supermarket where four Jews were murdered by an Islamist gunman.

Zarie Sibony, who now lives in Israel, flew back to France to testify at the trial of the 14, who stand accused of aiding the three terrorists who carried out massacres at the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo followed by the Hyper Cacher between Jan. 7-9, 2015.

Ahead of her court appearance, Sibony gave an interview to the AFP news agency in which she recalled “the worst four hours of my life.”

Four people were murdered by the terrorist, Amedy Coulibaly, during the Hyper Cacher siege in the east of the French capital — three shoppers, Francois-Michel Saada, Yoav Hattab and Philippe Braham, and a worker at the market, Yohan Cohen.

“I heard a shot on my right, and that was when the terrorist killed Mr. Braham, who was waiting in my line,” Sibony said.

Sibony remembered Yohan Cohen’s harrowing last hours, as he lay wounded after being shot by Coulibaly.

Sibony quoted Coulibaly asking, “‘Do you want me to finish him off, so he’ll stop making all this noise?’ And of course we all said no, leave him alone.”

She said that “afterwards I blamed myself a bit, because I thought maybe it would have been better to end his suffering, because he lay there dying for more than three and a half hours.”

Sibony continued: “I was trying to ignore the moans, the bodies around us, the bodies I had to step over each time he [Coulibaly] told me to do something.

“He told me, and I’ll never forget it: ‘You’re not dead yet, you must not want to die.’ And then he pulled the trigger.”

“And then I turned and saw the hole in the checkout and realized I had nearly died… I still don’t understand why he missed me.”

Sibony moved to Israel in 2019, where she now works as a child care professional and recently obtained her nursing license.

“I’m doing better now,” she told AFP, as she wondered how it would feel to see the families of the Hyper Cacher victims.

related

Subscribe to EJC newsletter

Get EJC's bi-weekly newsletter, including the latest statements and news from the European Jewish communities, direct to your inbox.

European Jewish Congress will use the information you provide on this form to contact you. We will treat your information with respect and will not share it with others. By clicking Subscribe, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

browse by community