Extended detention for a suspect in the murder of a family in France in 2012


PARIS – A French prosecutor has extended the detention period of a suspect in police custody since Wednesday morning for the 2012 murders 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 Wednesday evening that the investigating judge had extended the custody of the suspect questioned “in the context of the investigation into the murders of the al-Hilli family and Sylvain Mollier, known as ‘the Chevaline affair’ of September 5, 2012”. to conduct more interrogations and house searches.

She did not give further details on the case as the investigation is ongoing.

French media reported that the suspect in police custody is known to investigators and was questioned about the 2015 murders after British police released a sketch of a motorcyclist seen near the crime scene. The Annecy prosecutor found no evidence implicating the biker at the time.

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French investigators interviewed other people interested in the murders, but nine years after the start of the investigation, no charges have been filed in the case.

The al-Hilli children, then aged 4 and 7, were the only witnesses to the grisly killings that puzzled French investigators. The case has international ramifications with links linking the murdered family to Britain, Iraq, Sweden and Spain.

The four victims and 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 because she was hiding under her mother’s legs during the killings. She was found inside the car about eight hours after the shooting.

Her 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.

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The prosecutor said 25 rounds of firearms were found inside the family vehicle. All of those killed were found with at least three gunshot wounds, each with a single shot to the head.

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