Arrested suspect in Alpine murder released again

The man who was deprived of his freedom in France on Wednesday in the investigation into the 2012 Alpine murders has just been released. His lawyer has confirmed this. He was scheduled for hours today but was able to refute all suspicions against him.

Thierry Goeman

Today at 17:47

On September 5, 2012, Saad al-Hilli, 50-year-old Briton of Iraqi descent, his 47-year-old wife and mother-in-law were found dead in a forest road parking lot in Chevaline, Haute-Savoie. They had been shot in the head at close range. Their children, who were also in the burgundy BMW, were unharmed. Nearby was also the body of a cycling tourist, 45-year-old Sylvain Mollier. 21 shell casings were found at the crime scene, fired with an old Swiss army weapon.

To this day, the drama has not been clarified despite several avenues, including contract murder, have been investigated. A suspect was arrested on Wednesday.

©  AFP

Saad al-Hilli (50) and his wife Iqbal al-Hilli (47) with one of their children.

Saad al-Hilli (50) and his wife Iqbal al-Hilli (47) with one of their children. ©  AFP

He had already been arrested once and was not prosecuted in 2015.

A ranger had seen a motorcyclist near the crime scene immediately after the bodies were discovered. Cyclists also saw the man. Based on their testimonials, a robot photo was taken. That led to the arrest a year later of a then 48-year-old ex-policeman from Methon-Saint-Bernard, not so far away. The man had just been fired and led a fairly marginal existence. Several weapons were found during a search. But not the murder weapon. He was eventually let go for lack of evidence. He committed suicide a year after his arrest.

Afterwards, another man was arrested, based on the same robot photo. Also a motorcyclist from the Annecy area, the man who has now been arrested. He claimed to have been effective there because he went paragliding that day. A search of the house turned up nothing.

But after new interrogations and a new reconstruction last fall, investigators apparently had new elements and have arrested him again to check his alibi and his time use, among other things.

However, according to his lawyer Jean-Christophe Basson-Larbi, he has nothing to do with the murders and was released on Thursday evening.

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