Murder detectives hold Alps killings news conference in Woking

POLICE hunting the killers of a Surrey family gunned down in the French Alps have held a joint news conference at Woking Police Station.

Surrey Police are assisting French detectives in the hunt for the brutal killers of Saad Al-Hilli, 50, his wife Iqbal, her mother Suhaila Al-Allaf and a man who may have witnessed the bloodbath.

Mr and Mrs Al-Hilli, from Claygate, were shot dead in their BMW while on a caravan holiday near Lake Annecy in the Haute-Savoie region of the country on the border with Switzerland and Italy.

GUNNED DOWN - Iraq-born Saad Al-Hilli

GUNNED DOWN – Iraq-born Saad Al-Hilli

The couple’s four-year-old daughter Zeena hid under the body of her mother for eight hours before being discovered by French police unharmed.

Zeena’s seven-year-old sister Zainab suffered severe injuries after being shot and beaten around the head.

She is expected to make a full recovery after doctors brought her out of a medically-induced coma on Sunday.

Senior French detectives flew to Britain on Friday to visit the couple’s home while forensic experts carried out a full search of the property.

Baghdad-born Mr Al-Hilli worked for Surrey Satellites Technology Limited near Guildford.

Police are working on a number of theories including that the family may have been murdered by a professional assassin or been the victims of an attempted car-jacking.

Colonel Marc de Tarle, of the Gendarmerie, said: “The French delegation is here in England under the direction of the French Prosecutor, who requests international assistance from Great Britain in relation to a crime committed in France.

“What I can tell you is that our co-operation is very good and the British Police are making a due effort both in human and technical terms.

“I thank the British Police for its great support. Our arrival has been prepared by the services of the French Embassy. The investigation will be difficult and complex.”

Surrey Police Assistant Chief Constable Rob Price said: “This is a French-led investigation. I would like to assure members of the public that Surrey Police will be providing all possible support for this complex investigation.

“As you are already aware we have provided specialist search teams to carry out thorough checks at an address in Claygate and we have also provided a family liaison officer to assist members of the family involved both in France and the UK.

“We are also working with our partners, both locally and internationally, to manage the longer-term impact of this tragic incident.”

French investigators plan to interview Mr Al-Hilli’s brother Zaid after it emerged there may have been a disagreement over a family inheritence.

On Sunday it also emerged that a friend of the family was also helping detectives with the investigation at Woking Police Station.

Italian and Swiss Police have also joined the hunt for a green coloured Peugeot seen speeding away from the scene of the killings.

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