AP News

Official: 3 leads in grisly Alps killings


ANNECY, France (AP) — Investigators are pursuing three leads in the killings of a British-Iraqi couple and two other people in the French Alps, but there are no suspects yet, a prosecutor said Wednesday. The leads include an alleged family financial dispute.

Saad Al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal, and an elderly woman were shot dead inside a car in a remote area of southeast France, while a French cyclist riding nearby was also killed.

Prosecutor Eric Maillaud said at a news conference that the couple's 7-year-old daughter, who survived the attack last Wednesday, is a "key witness" but likely will not be the pivot to unraveling the grisly case.

She's still recovering from wounds and hasn't been questioned. Her 4-year-old sister survived the attack unharmed.

Investigators have been looking into reports of a financial dispute between the Saad Al-Hilli and his brother, but the brother has denied any such conflict.

Aside from the purported family dispute, possible links to Saad Al-Hilli's profession as an engineer and the couple's roots in Iraq are the other leads.

Meanwhile, relatives of the dead couple said they hope those responsible for the killings are brought quickly to justice.

In their first public statement, released through Britain's foreign ministry, Ahmed Al-Saffar said family members are "heartbroken by this shocking crime." Al-Saffar was identified by the ministry as brother to the elderly woman killed in the attack.

The elderly woman has not been formally named, but the Sipa news agency has reported she is the Swedish-Iraqi mother-in-law of Saad al-Hilli.

"We hope that those responsible for the deaths of our loved ones are brought swiftly to justice," Al-Saffar said.


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