A man has been arrested in connection with the unsolved case of three British family members and a French cyclist who were killed in the French Alps in 2012.
Saad al-Hilli, an engineer, his wife Ikbal and her mother, Suhaila al-Allaf, were gunned down on a forest road in Chevaline, near Lake Annecy. The couple’s two young daughters survived the attack.
A local cyclist, Sylvain Mollier, also died after being shot at point-blank range. No one has been charged over the attack.
Judicial sources told French media that an unidentified man had been taken into custody and his home searched. The man’s movements and whereabouts on the day of the killings, as well as the days before and after, were being verified.
Line Bonnet, the public prosecutor in Annecy, said in a statement that a person had been arrested shortly after 8am on Wednesday by police in Chambéry, adding that further details would be released later but that the investigation was covered by judicial secrecy laws.
BFMTV said the suspect was a married man who had been questioned before as a witness. The arrest follows a detailed recreation of events by gendarmes in September, on the ninth anniversary of the murders
Hilli’s then seven-year-old daughter, Zainab, was pistol-whipped during the attack, which police believe was a result of the killer running out of ammunition. Her sister Zeena, then four, hid in the footwell of the vehicle.
Almost a decade after the killings, French and British police have so far failed to make any real progress in the case despite a massive effort involving officers on both sides of the Channel.