UK police arrest brother of murder victim over French Alps deaths

Suspect held in Surrey over killings last year

Forensic officers outside the home of the Hilli family  in Claygate, Surrey, last September. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Forensic officers outside the home of the Hilli family in Claygate, Surrey, last September. Photograph: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

 

The brother of a British engineer shot dead with his wife and mother-in-law in the French Alps last year was arrested in Surrey today on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder.

Saad and Ikbal Al-Hilli, Mrs Al-Hilli’s mother Suhaila al-Allaf, and french cyclist Sylvain Mollier, were murdered on a remote mountain road near Annecy last September.

Surrey Police said the 54-year-old suspect, who they did not name, was detained at an address in Chessington at about 7.30am “and is currently in police custody where he will be interviewed”.

Mr Al-Hilli’s brother Zaid Hilli, who is in his 50s and lives in Surrey, has previously denied any feud with his sibling over an inheritance.

Surrey Police set up a joint investigation team to work with French police on solving the brutal murders.

The al-Hillis’ four-year-old daughter Zeena lay undiscovered under her mother’s corpse in their BMW for eight hours after the shooting, while her seven-year-old sister Zainab was found with serious injures after being shot and beaten.

The victims lived in a smart detached home in Esher. Surrey police said today’s arrest was pre-planned and the result of on-going inquiries.

About 100 police officers in Britain and France are investigating the murders in an investigation which spans France, Switzerland, Italy, the UK, Sweden and southern Spain, where Mr al-Hilli’s father had an apartment.

PA