Man held over murder of British family in French Alps

Saad al-Hilli, his wife Ikbal and mother-in-law died in September 2012 incident in Annecy

French gendarmes stand guard next to a caravan at Saint-Jorioz camping ground, near Annecy where Saad al-Hilli and his wife Ikbal, from Claygate in Surrey, and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf, who lived in Sweden, were all fatally shot. Photograph: Robert Pratta/Reuters.

French gendarmes stand guard next to a caravan at Saint-Jorioz camping ground, near Annecy where Saad al-Hilli and his wife Ikbal, from Claygate in Surrey, and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf, who lived in Sweden, were all fatally shot. Photograph: Robert Pratta/Reuters.

 

A man has been arrested in France in connection with the killings of a British engineer and his family in the Alps.

Saad al-Hilli and his wife Ikbal, from Claygate in Surrey, and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf, who lived in Sweden, were all fatally shot on a remote forest road in Chevaline near Annecy on September 5th, 2012.

Local cyclist Sylvain Mollier was also murdered.

Today Surrey Police confirmed that an arrest was made in France today in connection with the murders.

“The arrest has resulted from a line of inquiry in France and is not as a result of the investigation carried out in the UK,” the force said.

The man, believed to be a 48-year-old, was reportedly arrested in Chevaline.

Last month Mr al-Hilli’s brother Zaid al-Hilli, who was arrested in connection with the shooting, had his bail cancelled by Surrey Police after the force deemed there was not enough evidence to charge him with a crime.

Since the deaths, speculation has surrounded whether the shooting was linked to the al-Hillis’ native Iraq, or Saad al-Hilli’s work as a satellite engineer.

The murder scene was discovered by cyclist Brett Martin, who found Iraqi-born Mr al-Hilli, 50, his 47-year-old dentist wife and her elderly mother blasted to death in their BMW.

The al-Hillis’ first-born daughter Zainab was shot in the shoulder and beaten, but survived. Her then four-year-old sister Zeena lay hidden under her mother’s body and was only discovered eight hours after the murders.

PA