Published on : 13/01/2022 – 18:44Modified : 13/01/2022 – 19:23
The custody of the witness questioned since Wednesday morning in the investigation into the quadruple murder of 2012 in Chevaline, Haute-Savoie, was lifted without “any charge” against him, the Annecy prosecutor’s office said Thursday.
The witness questioned since Wednesday in the investigation into the quadruple murder of 2012 in Chevaline, Haute-Savoie, was released and exonerated, the Annecy prosecutor’s office said on Thursday (January 13).
The custody, initiated Wednesday morning, then extended, “was lifted today at 5.30 p.m. by decision of the investigating judges of the Annecy judicial court. No charge has been brought against the person in police custody” , according to a statement from the prosecution.
The Annecy Line Bonnet prosecutor had initially indicated that the aim was to “carry out timetable checks” as well as “searches” of this man who had already been interviewed and whose identity was unknown. not been revealed.
“The explanations given and the checks carried out have made it possible to rule out his possible participation in the facts,” said the prosecution on Thursday, adding that “the investigations are continuing to identify the perpetrator (s) of the crime within the framework of the current judicial investigation” .
The lawyer of the suspect Jean-Christophe Basson-Larbi had castigated Wednesday evening a custody “not justified” by affirming that his client had already been exonerated in 2015 and has “always had at heart to participate in the demonstration of the truth”.
This man “is living the darkest hours of his life,” he had rebelled. “He is a man who manages to hold on, who remains solid, but who is in absolute terror, that of a judicial error. He has the feeling of swimming in the middle of Kafka”.
According to several newspapers, including Le Dauphiné Libéré, this witness would be a biker present on the site on the day of the killing and long considered the main suspect in this extraordinary case – a precision that the prosecutor did not wish to confirm.
She had, however, confirmed that the man was among four witnesses “put in the situation” and timed on the basis of their statements at the scene of the tragedy a little over three months ago.
Thousands of hours of investigation
The case of the “Chevaline massacre” has already given rise to thousands of hours of investigation and hearings, tons of documents peeled and four arrests, without having been elucidated to date.
It is one of the great legal enigmas that have held France in suspense for the past fifty years.
On September 5, 2012, a 50-year-old Briton of Iraqi origin, Saad al-Hilli, his 47-year-old wife and his 74-year-old mother-in-law were found dead, with several bullets to the head, in their car on a mountain road near Chevaline, on the heights of Lake Annecy.
One of the daughters of the al-Hilli couple was seriously injured while the second, curled up under her mother’s legs, miraculously escaped the killing unscathed.
A cyclist from the region, Sylvain Mollier, 45, a probable collateral victim, was shot dead during the shooting.
A motorcyclist crossed the day of the facts by agents of the National Forestry Office, had never presented himself to the authorities, raising strong suspicions as to his possible involvement in the killing. His robot portrait had been released.
The gendarmes were finally traced back to him by identifying the 4,000 mobile numbers which had triggered one of the mobile telephony relays located near the scene of the crime. CCTV images had made it possible to cross-reference these investigations.
Questioned by the investigating judges in February 2015, the man, an entrepreneur from the region, explained that he had gone to the shores of Lake Annecy to practice paragliding.
The various leads followed by the investigators have so far not elucidated the killing.