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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Breakthrough in Saad al-Hilli Murder?

There may have been a break-through in the investigation into the murder of Saad al-Hilli, his family, and a passing bicyclist, Sylvain Mollier. The murder occurred in the French Alps in 2012, and had sparked numerous theories as to whether the murder was a contract killing related to defense technology work by al-Hilli, disputes between him and his brother, and even theories that Mollier was the actual target. The Telegraph reports:
A former policeman named locally as Eric Devouassoux has been arrested by French Police in the Alps murder mystery case.... 
The 48-year-old, described as a “taciturn mountain man” and said to have left the police force last year, was found to have a number of weapons in his home – less than two miles from the site of the quadruple murder. 
The weapons were seized by police searching his home on Tuesday.
... Tuesday’s arrest is the first to be made in France and has been seen as a breakthrough, taking place 18 months after the murders. 
The French man arrested was a former municipal police officer in the town of Menthon-Saint-Bernard, the local prosecutor confirmed to AFP.
... The man was arrested at his home in Lathuile and taken to a police station in Chambery for questioning. The GIGN, a special operations unit of the French Armed Forces, was involved. 
Lathuile is the site of another unsolved murder after a woman was shot in her home, at a campsite, in November last year. It is also where William Brett Martin, the Briton who discovered the murders while on a bike ride, has a holiday home. 
Also on Tuesday, French police investigators were searching the nearby town of Talloires, scanning the ground with a metal-detector and shovels. A police source said the operation in Talloires was linked to Chevaline.
 The report indicates that the man has not been charged with the murder, but is being questioned in connection with the murder. He had been spotted riding a motorcycle near the scene of the crime, and his motorcycle helmet was a special helmet only produced for French police.

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