French police in UK over massacre

Congleton Guardian: French police inspect a drain under the road to the murder scene at Cheverlaine near Annecy French police inspect a drain under the road to the murder scene at Cheverlaine near Annecy

French police officers are arriving in Britain to find out more about the victims of the multiple shooting in the Alps.

Police investigating the murder of four people are sending four officers to the UK. They will work with British detectives and plan to search the house of victim Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey.

Officer Marc de Tarle was first to land at Heathrow, and three colleagues were joining him.

Investigators also disclosed that Mr al-Hilli's brother has approached UK police to deny any feud with his sibling over money.

Iraqi-born Mr al-Hilli, 50, was gunned down in his car alongside his dentist wife, named by neighbours as Iqbal, while on holiday in the French Alps.

An older Swedish woman, who was travelling in the car, was also killed, along with Sylvain Mollier, 45, a French cyclist who apparently stumbled across the attack in Chevaline.

The couple's four-year-old daughter Zeena lay undiscovered under her mother's corpse for eight hours after the murders, while her seven-year-old sister Zainab remains in a medically induced coma after being shot and beaten.

Prosecutor Eric Maillaud said investigators were told of a possible feud between Mr al-Hilli and his brother over money, but the sibling had gone to a police station to deny the row. Police plan to look at aspects of Mr al-Hilli's life to try to find a motive for the murders and also speak with his brother, named in reports as Zaid Hilli.

The four-year-old girl has spoken to police and confirmed that two of the victims were her parents, but said she did not know the Swedish woman very well.

Mr Maillaud said the girl remained under the care of psychiatric teams and had spoken about what he described as the "terror" of what happened, but did not see anything because she was hiding. He added: "I imagine she'll go back to Britain in a short timescale. We have to be able to identify members of her family, we have to make sure that they are people that can be trusted. You can imagine that we cannot entrust that little girl to the first person that turns up."

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