Arrest over grisly French Alps killing

Last updated 07:20 19/02/2014

Relevant offers

Europe

Man loses his cool over Apple customer service, smashes every phone in shop European Union pushes Paris climate change deal to the brink of reality More polar bears getting shot as Norway's Arctic draws visitors Wanted Australian paedophile free in Ireland after bungle Lion killed after escape at German zoo Hero British cop Danny Pattison stops runaway car UK secondary school drops traditional homework - teachers use time to prepare lessons Malaysia Airlines MH17 shot down from pro-Russian rebel controlled territory, investigation finds Russian hackers harassed journalists who were investigating MH17 crash Russia claims rebel rocket did not down Malaysia Airlines MH17

French police have detained a 48-year-old man in the first French arrest linked to the grisly shooting deaths of a British-Iraqi man and three others in the French Alps nearly 18 months ago.

Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud said the arrest of the man, a resident of eastern France who was not otherwise identified, resulted in part from dozens of witness accounts that came in after authorities in November issued a sketch of a possible suspect wearing a helmet.

"Since the police sketch was released, we've received about 40 witness accounts that have been useful ... and are being verified," Maillaud said by phone. "This arrest is the first and others will surely follow."

Saad al-Hilli, his wife, an elderly relative and a French cyclist were killed in or near the family's BMW in a wooded area near bucolic Annecy Lake in September 2012. The couple's two young daughters survived, including one who spent about eight hours huddled beneath her mother's lifeless body in the vehicle.

Also Tuesday (local time), French police investigators equipped with a truck to haul away possible evidence fanned out into a neighbourhood in the nearby town of Talloires, scanning the ground of at least one resident's lot with a metal-detector and shovels, before blocking off the area to journalists.

British police in the county of Surrey - where the al-Hilli family lived - confirmed Tuesday's arrest. In June, British police detained al-Hilli's brother, Zaid, for questioning and later freed him on bail.

Maillaud, the prosecutor, had previously cited evidence that the brothers had been fighting over their father's inheritance. It was not immediately clear whether the French arrest on Tuesday had anything to do with that theory.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content