A French prosecutor said a suspect in the 2012 murder of an Anglo-Iraqi family vacationing in the French Alps and a cyclist was arrested
PARIS – A suspect in the 2012 murder of an Anglo-Iraqi family vacationing in the French Alps and a cyclist has been arrested, a French prosecutor said on Wednesday.
Saad al-Hilli, his wife Ikbal and his mother-in-law Souhaila al-Allaf were shot dead on a remote mountain road near Annecy, in eastern France. French cyclist Sylvain Mollier was also killed in the shooting. Al-Hilli’s two young girls, who were in the car at the time of the shooting, survived the attack.
She did not give further details on the case as the investigation is ongoing.
French investigators have already interviewed people with an interest in the murders, but nine years after the investigation began, no charges have been laid in the case.
The al-Hilli children, aged 4 and 7 at the time, were the only witnesses to the gruesome killings that puzzled French investigators. The case has international ramifications with ties linking the slain family to Britain, Iraq, Sweden and Spain.
In 2015, prosecutors found no evidence to implicate a French motorcyclist who had been questioned by police in Annecy after British police released a sketch of a motorcyclist seen near the crime scene.
The four victims and the two young survivors were discovered by police in a wooded area on a secluded mountain road in the village of Chevaline, near the bucolic Lake Annecy in eastern France.
Eric Maillaud, the Annecy prosecutor in 2012 said the 4-year-old girl who survived the shooting could not help their investigation as she was hiding under her mother’s legs during the killings. She was found inside the car about eight hours after the shooting.
His 7-year-old sister, who was shot in the shoulder and survived, was found bloodied and beaten outside the vehicle, a BMW station wagon in which three of the bodies were found.
The prosecutor said 25 rounds of firearms were found inside the family vehicle. All those killed were found with at least three gunshot wounds, each with a single bullet to the head.