Monday, 24 Jan 2022

French investigators re-examine scene where British al-Hilli family were shot dead near Lake Annecy nine years ago

French investigators have returned to where three members of a British family were shot dead in the Alps nine years ago.

Saad al-Hilli, 50, who lived in Surrey, was gunned down with his wife Iqbal, 47, and mother-in-law Suhaila al-Allaf, 74, as they tried to leave the village of Chevaline in a BMW on 5 September 2012.

Local magistrates and forensic investigators sealed off the alpine road where it happened, near Lake Annecy in France’s Haute-Savoie region on Wednesday.

Inquiries were still ongoing on Friday.

Annecy’s prosecutor Line Bonnet-Mathis told local media there were no new developments in the case, but detectives are “examining inconsistencies in witness accounts and timings”.

The al-Hilli’s two daughters Zeena, four, and Zainab, seven, were also caught up in the shooting, but survived.

French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, 45, died after he was shot seven times at point-blank range.

No one has ever been charged in relation to the murders, which prompted a search of the family’s home in Claygate, Surrey.

Earlier this year detectives were investigating a possible link between the al-Hilli deaths and a gang of contract killers living in Paris.

One of the gang members was found to have pistol rounds similar to the ones fired from the gun that killed the victims in Chevaline nine years ago.

Investigators said at the time that if there was a link it was more likely the Frenchman, Mr Mollier, was the intended target.

Other possible reasons for the attack probed by the authorities have ranged from the family’s time in their native Iraq and alleged links to the fallen dictator Saddam Hussein to a “lone-wolf” killing.

The investigation continues.

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