Brother arrested over British family murder in French Alps

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Brother arrested over British family murder in French Alps

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Police in Britain are continuing to question a man on suspicion of conspiracy to murder a family gunned down in the French Alps last year.

The 54-year-old suspect is now known to be Zaid al-Hilli, the brother of the head of the family. He was arrested on Monday at his home in Chessington, a leafy town in the southern county of Surrey which borders London.

Saad al-Hili, his wife and mother-in-law were killed in their car in an apparent execution in September last year on a remote mountain road near the village of Chevaline.

A French cyclist, who is thought to have witnessed the killing, was also shot dead. But Hilli’s two daughters survived the attack; despite the gunman trying to kill the eldest, seven-year-old Zainab, by beating her around the head after running out of bullets. Four-year-old Zeena was found safely hiding beneath the legs and skirt of her dead mother in the backseat of the car.

French investigators say Zaid appeared determined to recover his father’s wealth, even to Saad’s detriment. Prosecutors stress there is no formal evidence against him but claim they now have enough elements to question him as a suspect.