Alps shooting victims all shot twice

2012-09-08 19:18

Annecy - Four people killed in a horrifying shooting in the French Alps were all shot twice in the head, autopsies carried out on their bodies have established, officials said on Saturday.

"All four were killed by several bullets and all four were hit twice in the head," Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud told reporters here.

"The whole scene was played out in a very, very short time."

The prosecutor refused to offer any interpretation of his remarks, but they will inevitably strengthen the impression held by many experts on crime that the attack was the work of professional killers.

Maillaud said he could not divulge any details of the ballistic analysis of the bullets recovered from the bodies of three members of a British-Iraqi family and a local cyclist who is believed to have come upon the scene of Wednesday's shooting by chance.

Investigators will have established from the autopsies how many guns were used in the attack and possibly the type of weapon or weapons, which may give them an indication as to whether the attack was a random robbery or carjacking that went wrong or a contract killing.

Maillaud said such details could not be made public without compromising the investigation and signalled that the local authorities would be significantly scaling back the amount of information released to the media as they attempt to get to the bottom of a quadruple murder that so far has left them baffled.

"I think we have arrived at the limit of what can be said, or resaid or released to the public," Maillaud said, announcing that he would not be holding any more press conferences until the middle of next week.

Maillaud confirmed that French police officers were on Saturday searching the home of the al-Hilli family on the outskirts of London and that the brother of Saad al-Hilli would be interviewed by police.

But he warned that speculation that a financial dispute between the two brothers may have led to the killing was not based on any firm evidence.

"Everyone talks about a dispute between the brothers as it was an established fact. The brother says there was no dispute so let us remain cautious about that.

"He will be interviewed in the coming days, just as we will interview any other members of the [extended] family. It is no more and no less than that."

Maillaud said the search of the al-Hilli home would help to build up a profile of the family, while stressing that there should be no presumption that they were involved in any activity which might have made them targets.

"We will try to find out the maximum amount about the life of this family, about the father's professional life, the companies he may have worked for, as well as the history and heritage of the family."

  • Hannes Truter - 2012-09-08 20:10

    The human race are condemned......

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