Man arrested in Alps Brit family murder mystery 'ruled out' of investigation

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The family were on a caravan holiday in the French Alps (their caravan and tent are pictured) when they were horribly gunned down (

Image: PA)

A man arrested in the murders of a British family in the French Alps has been dropped from the investigation.

French police have released a man who was being questioned over the 2012 murder of a British family and a cyclist in the French Alps, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Police arrested the man yesterday for questioning as part of a new probe into the killing of four people.

“No charges have been brought against the person interviewed. The explanations have been given and the checks carried out
let’s rule out his involvement in the facts.

The investigation continues,” the Annecy prosecutor said in a statement.

Saad al-Hilli, 50, his wife Iqbal, 47, and their mother Suhaila al-Allaf, 74, were shot dead at close range in their BMW on September 5, 2012 on a road near Annecy in eastern France.

Saad al-Hilli (50), his wife Iqbal (47) and their mother Suhaila al-Allaf (74) were shot dead by a gunman. The cyclist near their car, Sylvain Mollier, right, was also gunned down and killed
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One of her two young daughters, Zeena, four, was unharmed, while the other – seven-year-old Zainab – was shot by the assassin, pistol whipped and left for dead.

A 45-year-old cyclist, Sylvain Mollier, who had nothing to do with the family, was killed after being shot seven times.

In 2013, police released a photo of a motorcyclist spotted nearby wearing a distinctive helmet.

The man was taken to the main police station in Chambray (pictured) for questioning
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Charlie Varley/varleypix.com)

Today, nine years after the crime, a man who French media reported was the same motorcyclist has been released without charge for the second time after being dropped from the investigation back in 2015.

Annecy’s newly appointed prosecutor, Line Bonnet, refused to identify the suspect, but French media reported that it was the same man who claimed to have been paragliding in the mountains surrounding the murder site on the day of the killings.

The mother, father and grandmother of the family were shot at close range in their BMW
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Roland Hoskins)

The man’s lawyer, Jean-Christophe Basson-Larbi, told French broadcaster BFMTV earlier today that his client’s re-arrest was an unjustified “miscarriage of justice”.

He added his client was not the type of person capable of “committing such cold-blooded, premeditated murder.”

Basson-Larbi said the man maintains the same position he always takes: “I walked … but never crossed paths with that poor family.”

The man’s attorney said his client was in no position to commit “cold-blooded, premeditated murder.”
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PA)

At the time, he told officers he was riding his motorcycle down a narrow road leading to the isolated clearing where the al-Hillis and French cyclist were shot.

He told authorities he had been in the area on a paragliding flight – which is a popular pastime in the surrounding mountains.

However, he said he did not know what happened in the remote parking lot – despite ongoing nationwide coverage and high publicity all around.

He said he didn’t come forward earlier, despite the wide circulation of the sketch, because he hadn’t seen anything and didn’t think his testimony would be useful, BFMTV reported.

Father Saad Al-Hilli was an Iraqi-born engineer who lived with his family in Claygate, Surrey
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express star)

The bodies of Iraqi-born engineer Saad and his dentist wife Iqbal, who lived in Claygate, Surrey, were discovered along with that of Ms al-Hilli’s mother Suhaila al-Allaf in their BMW on a remote woodland track.

Seven-year-old Zainab was left with serious injuries while her little sister Zeena, four, crouched under her dead mother’s dress when their bodies were discovered.

In a bizarre twist, Ms al-Hilli’s former husband, an American dentist named James T, died of a heart attack on the same day as the couple, but police said there was no connection to the killings.

No charges have been filed in the case since the murders nine years ago
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PA)

Suspects previously arrested in connection with the case include an Iraqi prisoner named Mr S, who is said to have said he was offered “a large sum of money” to kill Iraqis living in the UK.

Nine years after the investigation, no charges have been brought in the case.

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