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have suggested that the killings could be linked

to an inheritance dispute within the Al-Hilli family.

But no evidence has been produced to support the

suspicions.

Voice recordings from beyond the grave are being used by detectives trying

to unlock the Alps murders case, it emerged today. Investigators remain

baffled as to why three members of a British-Iraqi family were shot dead

close to Lake Annecy, in eastern France, a year ago.

But at a joint Anglo-French press briefing today they said that Saad Al-Hilli,

a 50-year-old engineer who worked for  Surrey Satellite Technology 

and was among the victims, kept meticulous recordings’ of all of his

conversations up until the massacre. Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud,

who is leading the enquiry, said:

The victim recorded all his telephone conversations.

We therefore have some very precise details.’

Mr Maillaud said a that a bitter inheritance dispute between Saad and his

brother Zaid Al-Hilli, 54, was a key line of enquiry. Zaid was arrested in

June under suspicion of conspiracy to murder, and is currently on police

bail. He vehemently denies any wrongdoing.

Mr Maillaud said that there was a ‘real hatred ’ between the two brothers,

and that Saad carried all the documents relating to their dispute on holiday

with him to France last year. On September 5th 2012, he was killed in the

attack by a gunman, along with his wife Ikbal, 47, and her mother Suhaila

al-Allaf, 74. French cyclist Sylvain Mollier, 45, was also killed in shootings

which orphaned Saad’s daughters, Zainab, eight, and Zeena, five. A total

of 21 bullets were used in the killing, with none damaging the bodywork

of the family BMW in which the Al-Hillis were sitting. Instead, bullets

passed straight through a car window before finding their human targets.

 

At least five others ended up in the body of the cyclist, Mr Mollier, with the

gunman reloading at least twice, ballistics reports suggest.

‘There was a certain form of obsession’ about the inheritance dispute, said

Mr Maillaud, explaining that it concerned money and property left by the

brothers’ father, Kadhim, who died in Spain two years ago aged 85.

Mr Maillaud said that the recorded phone conversations, together with

computer records, were being studied at length, and could provide vital

clues before Zaid is re-interviewed by police in October. But British police

confirmed that Zaid was in the UK last September, and was not considered

‘the prime suspect’.

Detective superintendent Nick May said: ‘The tragic events of a year ago

left four people dead in appalling circumstances. We remain committed

to finding answers to what happened that day on behalf of their families,

particularly for the two young girls who lost their parents. This remains a

complex inquiry and we continue to have a team of officers dedicated to

supporting the investigation. We have established a good working

relationship with our French colleagues and are continuing to pursue

a number of lines of inquiry in the UK.’



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