Money row could be behind Alps murders


The French authorities believe a money dispute could be behind the killings of a family from Claygate.

By Luke Gardener

The French authorities believe a money dispute could be to blame for the killings of a family from Claygate, Surrey, in the Alps on Wednesday.        

Saad al-Hilli, along with his wife Iqbal and mother-in-law, as well as a French cyclist, were shot dead near Lake Annecy.

Mr al-Hilli’s four-year-old daughter spent eight hours hiding with the bodies of her parents in their car before being rescued by police officers.

Her sister, aged seven, is in a medically-induced coma after suffering head injuries from a shot fired during the attack.

The attack seemed to be premeditated and an automatic pistol was the weapon of choice.

It is believed that there was a monetary disagreement between Mr al-Hilli and his brother which may have had some bearing on the murders.

French police are waiting to question the four-year-old child of Mr al-Hilli in order to gain a clearer picture of the events which led to the tragedy.            

Chief prosecutor Eric Maillaud spoke to the AFP News Agency and said: “It seems that there was a dispute between the two brothers about money. This seems to be credible information coming from the British police.

“The brother will have to be questioned at length. Every lead will be meticulously followed.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “All the support that the British government and the foreign office can give to those children, of course we will make sure they get that support.”

French president François Hollande added: “We will do our utmost to find the perpetrators, and to find the reasons and truths behind this terrible drama.”

The road block at the scene has now been lifted, however evidence of the killings are still visible as tyre marks and blood-stained pebbles remain.

A post-mortem of the four victims is due to be carried out later today.

Picture courtesy of Ray Forster, with thanks

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