A twist in the legal puzzle. The man was taken into police custody as part of an investigation into the 2012 Chevalin massacre, Annecy prosecutors said on Wednesday, January 12. This is a biker seen near the crime scene, who, according to his lawyer, had already been questioned and exonerated in 2015.
Recall the facts: September 5, 2012, in the middle of the day,In the small town of Haute-Savoie that gave the case its name, an amateur cyclist discovers three family members shot to death in a UK-registered BMW in an isolated car park: Saad Al-Hilli, aged 50, b. in Iraq and lives near London, his wife is 47 years old and the mother of the latter, 74 years old. Cyclist-tourist Sylvain Mollier was found dead nearby.
Near the car lies the eldest of the couple, Zainab, 7 years old, with severe head injuries. Around midnight, her younger sister Zina, 4, was found hiding under her mother’s body in the back seat of a car, sprawled but unharmed. Zainab will wake up from the coma four days after the tragedy. Despite lengthy investigative actions, the investigation has not yet identified the perpetrator(s) of the crime. Franceinfo summarizes what’s going on.
Three privileged tracks…
Investigators are moving fast on three trails: a crime involving Saad Al-Hilli, an engineer who specializes in civilian satellites, a family affair, and Iraq, the family’s country of origin.
The gendarmerie calls witnesses, and the ballistic report shows that the cyclist was hit first. It’s probably a collateral victim. Witness says he drove a white car “a little crazy” near the crime scene. Others bring to mind a dark 4×4 and a motorcycle. Zainab, who was interviewed on September 14, 2012, said she saw only one “bad”. She joins her younger sister in the UK.
Since September 7, 2012, investigators have been causing a dispute between Saad Al-Hilli and his brother Zayed about their father’s inheritance. Zaid Al-Hilli introduces himself to the British police to justify himself. Finally, on 24 June 2013, he was taken into police custody and released the next day and placed under judicial supervision. In January 2014, due to lack of sufficient evidence, his judicial review was cancelled. However, Zaid Al-Hilli remains on the list of suspects. But since then, no other elements supporting this track have been published.
…and others thrown out
On April 29, 2013, the gendarmes began an appeal to all who “may have come into contact with one or more persons who distributed” in a gray four-wheel drive car near the crime scene. Thirty people turned up, but no testimony allowed us to trace the origin of the crime.
One more track is being considered before abandoning it. On February 18, 2014, a fired former municipal police officer, a gun collector living in Haute-Savoie, was arrested and taken into police custody. Apparently, this person is not involved in the fourfold murder of Chevalin, prosecutor Annecy says.
More recently, on September 30, 2021, a re-enactment took place in Chevalin in the presence of several witnesses. The crime scene was frozen for several hours by the search department of the gendarmerie. “just checking some things”commented France 3 Line Bonnet-Mathis, Annecy prosecutor.
Biker interrogated again
On Wednesday, more than nine years after the events, Annecy’s prosecutor announced that the man had been in police custody since 8:05 a.m. “perform schedule checks”.
[communiqué de presse]
The detention continues in the so-called horse murder case from 8:05 am. New press release on end of police custody. pic.twitter.com/9lwk3mYVyV
— Prosecutor Annecy (@ProcAnnecy) January 12, 2022
These checks apply to the day of the event as well as the days before and after. The man’s house is being searched, gendarmerie sources told Franceinfo.
Late Wednesday afternoon, a lawyer for a suspect in police custody confirmed to France Télévisions the identity of his client: the motorcyclist seen near the crime scene. His composite portrait was aired on November 4, 2013. This businessman, who flew in to paraglide in Shevalin during the quadruple murder, was found in 2015. Then he was interrogated and rehabilitated. However, six years later he was taken into custody on suspicion of murder and attempted murder. “This is a miscarriage of justice, my client is going through a difficult time”defended by his lawyer Me Jean-Christophe Basson-Larbi.