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French police re-arrest suspect over 2012 gun massacre of British family in the Alps


French police have re-arrested a suspect in connection with the 2012 gun massacre of a British family and French cyclist in the Alps after ‘discovering inconsistencies’ in his statement.   

In a dramatic development to what many had considered a cold case, a prosecuting source in Annecy, eastern France, on Wednesday confirmed that ‘a man was placed in custody at 8.05am and is being questioned at length’ in relation to the savage attack in the Alps.

Police are examining inconsistencies in the unnamed man’s original testimony and checking out his alibi,’ said the source. 

Surrey businessman Saad al-Hilli, 50, his wife Iqbal, 47, and his mother-in-law Suhaila al-Allaf, 74, were gunned down as they tried to escape the area in their BMW car on September 5, 2012.

French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, 45, also died in the bloodbath, after being shot seven times at point blank range.

The Al-Hillis’ daughter, Zeena, four, hid in the footwell of the vehicle and was unscathed, while her sister, Zainab, seven, was shot and beaten but made a good recovery.

French police have re-arrested a suspect in connection with the 2012 gun massacre of a British family and French cyclist in the Alps after 'discovering inconsistencies' in his statement (pictured, the crime scene)

French police have re-arrested a suspect in connection with the 2012 gun massacre of a British family and French cyclist in the Alps after ‘discovering inconsistencies’ in his statement (pictured, the crime scene) 

Saad al-Hilli, 50, his wife Iqbal, 47, (pictured together, with their daughter Zainab) were gunned down as they tried to escape the area in their BMW car on September 5, 2012. Their two daughters, Zeena and Zainab, survived the attack

Saad al-Hilli, 50, his wife Iqbal, 47, (pictured together, with their daughter Zainab) were gunned down as they tried to escape the area in their BMW car on September 5, 2012. Their two daughters, Zeena and Zainab, survived the attack

Saad al-Hilli

Mother-in-law, Suhaila Al-Allaf

Surrey businessman Saad al-Hilli, 50, (left) his wife Iqbal, 47, and his mother-in-law Suhaila al-Allaf, 74 (right) also died in the September 2012 bloodbath, along with local cyclist Sylvian Mollier, 45

Despite an investigation stretching across the world, those responsible have never been caught, leading to accusations that the French now view it as unsolvable.

But Line Bonnet-Mathis, the Annecy Prosecutor, has confirmed that the enquiry is still very much active.

Referring to the nearest hamlet to the crime scene, she said at the end of last year: ’The Chevaline case is continuing, and still involves an investigating judge and investigators.’

Ms Bonnet-Mathis said the ‘preservation of physical evidence’ was a priority and that ‘for us, this is not a cold case.’

She confirmed that forensics officers from the research section of the Chambery gendarmerie had returned to the scene.

The caravan and tent used by Saad al-Hilli and his family while on holiday at the Le Solitaire du Lac campsite on Lake Annecy (File photo)

The caravan and tent used by Saad al-Hilli and his family while on holiday at the Le Solitaire du Lac campsite on Lake Annecy (File photo)

Earlier in 2021, detectives said they were investigating a possible link between the murders and a bungling gang of contract killers based in Paris.

Pistol rounds found at the home of one member, a former police intelligence officer, were of the same calibre as those fired by the antique Luger PO6 used to kill the Al-Hillis.

Investigators believe that if the gang was involved, it be more likely that Mr Mollier was the primary target.

He was a welder in a subsidiary of the Areva nuclear power group, but tensions in his personal life are more likely to have provided a motive for him being targeted, they said.

Baffled French investigators have considered numerous other potential reasons for the attacks.

These range from Mr Al-Hilli’s past life in Iraq, including potential financial links to the late dictator Saddam Hussein, to claims that a ‘lone wolf’ psychopath was responsible for a random attack.

But none of the numerous theories surrounding the so-called Alps Murders have stuck, meaning there have been no criminal indictments. 

Pictured, French Gendarmes continue their search along the road to La Combe d'Ire, the scene of the Al-Hilli killings (File photo)

Pictured, French Gendarmes continue their search along the road to La Combe d’Ire, the scene of the Al-Hilli killings (File photo)

Magistrates accompanied by police forensics officers cordoned off the area near Lake Annecy in September 2021

Magistrates accompanied by police forensics officers cordoned off the area near Lake Annecy in September 2021



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