French Police Release Man Held Over 2012 Killings of British Family, French Cyclist

French police on Jan. 13 released a man questioned over the 2012 unsolved murder of a British family of Iraqi origin and a French cyclist in a remote Alpine region.

Annecy Prosecutor Line Bonnett said in a statement that the police released the man without any charges as he was “ruled out” as a suspect.

Bonnett said that the man was among four witnesses who participated in a reconstruction of the scene three months ago.

According to local newspaper Le Dauphine Libere, the man held in questioning was a motorcyclist seen near the scene of the crime.

Jean-Christophe Basson-Larbi, a lawyer for the man, said that the detention was unjustified because his client had already been “cleared in 2015” as a “mere witness” after a two-year police hunt to find him.

Bonnett said that investigations are ongoing to identify the perpetrator.

On Sept. 5, 2012, Saad al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal, and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf were shot dead at point-blank range in a woodland park near the village of Chevaline in the hills above Lake Annecy.

The couple’s daughters Zainab and Zeena, who were aged seven and four at the time, survived the attack.

French cyclist Sylvain Mollier was shot seven times after apparently stumbling on the scene.

Police have detained several individuals in connection with the case, including Saad’s brother Zaid, but no charges have ever been brought.

A definite motive has also not been established.

Police said they are investigating a possible link with a gang of contract killers in Paris.


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