Saturday, September 8, 2012

More on the French Alps Murder Mystery

The Daily Mail theorizes:
French detectives are to quiz work colleagues of murdered Briton Saad Al-Hilli, after they discovered he was killed while working on a secret contract for one of Europe's biggest defence companies.

The inquiry's focus will switch to Surrey Satellites Technology Limited (SSTL) near Guildford this week when gendarmes will question the workforce about whether Mr Al-Hilli's job may have made him a target for assassination.

... The Mail on Sunday can reveal that Mr Al-Hilli was part of a team involved in an undisclosed project linked to European Aeronautic Defence and Space (EADS) – a pan-European defence giant which has contracts with Russia, China and the Foreign Office.

SSTL, which was acquired by EADS in 2008, has raised security levels at its glass-fronted offices since the murders last week, with grieving staff barred from speaking about the tragedy.

EADS lists bodies including NASA, the European Space Agency, and MoD defence contractor Thales as clients. A key partner in the Eurofighter project, the company also designs and launches satellites for clients who want an 'eye in the sky' for commercial, civil or security purposes.

The Mail on Sunday has discovered that in December Mr Al-Hilli visited a sub-division of SSTL called DMC International Imaging, which has recently signed a contract with the Chinese to help map the country via satellite imagery. DMC also has a lucrative satellite-mapping deal with Russia and is working with the Foreign Office in Afghanistan to monitor illicit opium poppy cultivation.

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