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Victim's uncle slams French police for Alps murder probe


Latest update : 2012-10-22

Investigators probing the shooting of a family in the French Alps last month came under fire from a relative of the victims on Monday, who said police have wrongly focussed on the theory the killings were motivated by a family feud.

A relative of the British-Iraqi family shot dead in the Alps last month criticised the French police's murder investigation in an interview broadcast on Monday.

Ahmed al-Saffar, the uncle of the woman shot dead along with her husband, her mother and a cyclist, said investigators had concentrated on the possible involvement of the family while other lines of inquiry had been dismissed.

"I think the French prosecutor also focused on the family without presenting any evidence. It's kind of wild speculation," he told BBC radio.

He said that speculation that the murders were motivated by a family feud had increased relatives' suffering.

"What is unfortunate is what comes out in the media from the French prosecutor focusing on the family and dismissing all other lines of investigation, this has made actually a great damage to the family," he said.

Saffar's niece Iqbal al-Hilli, 47, was found dead along with her 50-year-old husband Saad, her mother and French cyclist Sylvain Moller.

'Investigation needs a professional approach'

Their bodies were found in their BMW car near the village of Chevaline. Their seven-year-old daughter Zainab was seriously injured in the attack and her four-year-old sister Zeena survived by hiding under her mother's skirts.

Saffar said he could not think why the family were targeted.

"I personally don't believe in any of these lines and I think the French prosecutor should make a professional investigation and a profesional approach and don't dismiss any part or any line.

"Just focusing on the family, it is not fair and it is not the right thing."

His niece was a "very lovely girl" who was "devoted to her family", and she and her husband were a perfect couple, he said.

Their daughters have been told what happened to their parents, Saffar said.

"They are very traumatised," he said.

The family, who lived in Surrey, southwest of London, were on a camping holiday when they were attacked.
The French newspaper Le Parisien reported on Friday that ballistics tests showed that the cyclist, who was previously thought to have been killed because he stumbled onto the murder scene, was the first to be shot.
But Eric Maillaud, the prosecutor in charge of the case, told AFP on Saturday that police do not know which of the four victims was killed first.

Date created : 2012-10-22


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