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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Update on the French Alps Shooting

I've posted before about the shooting of Said Al-Hilli, his family, and French cyclist. (See here, here, here and here). The case has fallen off the radar as police have few new leads in their investigation. However, there apparently where some new facts in the last few weeks.

First, attention is shifting back to the cyclist, Sylvain Mollier. The Daily Mail reported on December 16, 2012:

The Frenchman murdered alongside three members of a British-Iraqi family in the Alps had been involved in a 'bitter dispute' over a million pounds plus inheritance, it emerged today. 
Sylvain Mollier, 45, was the lone cyclist whose dead body was found lying next to a BMW saloon close to Lake Annecy, in eastern France, on September 5th.
He was shot seven times, while the other victims were shot twice: Said Al-Hilli, a 50-year-old engineer from Claygate, Surrey, was killed inside the car with his wife Ikbal, 47, and her mother, Suhaila, 74.
Now it has emerged that Mr Mollier was involved in family arguments caused by having a baby with a wealthy heiress sixteen years his junior.
Claire Schutz, the 29-year-old who shared a home with Mr Mollier, gave birth to Louis, their first child together, in June.
Just a few months before she gave birth, Claire was given a hugely lucrative business by her parents, making her a millionaire.
Court documents from October 2011 confirm the handover of the Schutz-Morange Pharmacy, in Grignon, near Annecy, which is valued at a minimum £1.1million.
The couple had been living together for around a year by this time and Claire would have been pregnant with Louis, yet she describes herself as a 'a spinster not signed up to a civil partnership'. 
Despite this, Mr Mollier started to receive large amounts of cash from Claire — a development which did not go down well with her side of the family.
See also this story from the Mirror.  Interestingly, the Mirror's article also indicates that Mollier was killed before the Al-Hilli family. So, rather than Mollier inadvertently coming upon the shooting of the family prior to the killer leaving, it may have been the other way around.

However, this Daily Mail article from December 8, 2012, notes that there are still many questions regarding Mr. Al-Hilli:

But as yet investigations have drawn a blank prompting the French team to travel to Iraq to hand dozens of pages on Mr al-Hilli to local Intelligence officers in the hope they can uncover a motive for the killings.
Mr al-Hilli returned to Iraq in 2010, ostensibly to take control of the family home and a poultry business they managed before leaving the country in the late 1960s.
But during his time there he was allegedly badly beaten up and was said to have returned to the UK traumatised from the experience.      
Then there is also the question of an estimated £800,000 left by Saad’s father Kadhim in a Swiss bank account.
There have been reports that  his late father, Kadhim, was once close to Saddam's Ba'ath Party  but fell foul of the tyrant in the Seventies, and fled Iraq for Britain. 
Alternatively, it has been suggested this was a smokescreen and that Kadhim's true role was to manage secret accounts for the regime. 
Emails and mobile phone calls intercepted by Swiss intelligence agency FIS and passed to their German counterparts suggest that Saad Al-Hilli may have been about to access the money, or part of it, shortly before he was killed.
Lake Annecy, where the family were staying is a short drive to the Swiss border and over to Geneva.

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