Detention extended for suspect in 2012 France family slaying

A French prosecutor has extended the detention period for a suspect in custody over the 2012 slayings of a British-Iraqi family and a cyclist in the French Alps

Via AP news wire
Thursday 13 January 2022 09:32
France Alps Killings
France Alps Killings

A French prosecutor has extended the detention period for a suspect in custody since Wednesday morning over the 2012 slayings of a British-Iraqi family and a cyclist in the French Alps

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 daughters, who were in the car at the time of the shooting, survived the attack.

Prosecutor Line Bonnet tweeted late Wednesday that the investigative judge has extended custody for the suspect questioned “in connection with the investigation into the murders of the al-Hilli family and Sylvain Mollier, known as the ‘Chevaline affair’ of Sept. 5, 2012” to conduct more questioning and house searches.

She didn't give further details on the case because the investigation is ongoing.

French media reported that the male suspect in custody is known to investigators and has been questioned over the killings in 2015 after British police issued a sketch of a motorcyclist seen near the crime scene. The prosecutor in Annecy found no evidence to implicate the motorcyclist at the time.

French investigators have questioned other persons of interest in the killings, but nine years into the probe no charges have been filed in the case.

The al-Hilli children, aged 4 and 7 at the time, were the only witnesses to the macabre killings that have puzzled French investigators. The case has international ramifications with links tying the slain family to Britain, Iraq, Sweden and Spain

The four victims and the two young survivors were discovered by police in a wooded area on an isolated mountain road from the village of Chevaline, near bucolic Lake Annecy in eastern France.

Eric Maillaud, the prosecutor in Annecy in 2012 said the 4-year-old girl who survived the shootings could not help their investigation because she was hiding under her mother’s legs during the killings. She was found inside the car about eight hours after the shootings.

Her 7-year-old sister, who was shot in the shoulder and survived, was found bloodied and battered outside the vehicle, a BMW station wagon in which three of the bodies were found.

The prosecutor has said 25 gun cartridges were found inside the family vehicle. All those killed were found with at least three bullet wounds, each with one single shot to the head.

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