The Straits Times
Published on Sep 13, 2012

Alps murder probe may take years, says prosecutor


PARIS (REUTERS) - Investigations into a quadruple murder in the French Alps seven days ago are focusing on one of the victim's Iraqi connections, his work as an engineer and a mooted family feud, but solving the case may take years, a French prosecutor said on Wednesday.

Mr Eric Maillaud, a prosecutor in the Annecy lake area where a cyclist and three members of a holidaying British family were shot dead, said investigators were waiting to talk to the only person who may have seen what happened - a girl of seven who survived the attack but was shot and brutally beaten.

"This is painstaking work. It's the kind of case that can take two years, three years or 10 years," Mr Maillaud told a news conference. "Big cases like this are rarely solved in three to six months."

Mr Maillaud said he planned to fly to Britain on Thursday to join police combing the home of Saad al-Hilli, an Iraqi-born engineer found shot dead with his wife and mother-in-law in their BMW car on a remote mountain road near the village of Chevaline, not far from the Swiss and Italian borders.