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Zaid al-Hilli: Alps murder arrest 'is better than nothing'

Zaid al-Hilli pictured last year. Credit: ITV News

The brother of Alps murder victim Saad al-Hilli said the arrest of a 48-year-old - believed to be a former policeman - in connection with the killing, is "better than nothing".

Last month Zaid al-Hilli, who was arrested in connection with the shooting, had his bail cancelled by Surrey Police after the force decided there was not enough evidence to charge him with a crime.

Asked on Sky News whether this arrest, if it leads to a prosecution, would bring closure to him, he replied: "Well of course, I mean, anything is better than nothing. We'll see what happens. We can't raise our hopes."

National

Alps murders investigation gains momentum

by - Diplomatic Correspondent

There is a gathering sense here tonight that this investigation is finally gaining momentum. This was a crime, which of course shocked, but quite swiftly seemed to baffle police, as they searched for a motive and then it seemed to frustrate them, as they searched for evidence.

As much as French investigators are trying to play down events here, they say the man being questioned here is being questioned as a witness, not as a suspect but it is really hard to disguise the idea that a breakthrough might be imminent.

The man we know was a former policeman. It has been reported by French media that weapons were found at his home. French police have four days to question him before charging but tomorrow the prosecutor is talking about holding a press conference. That suggests there is something significant to say.

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Man held over Alps murders 'is former policeman'

A 48-year-old man arrested in connection with the the killings of a British engineer and his family in France is believed to be a former policeman.

Saad al-Hilli and his wife Ikbal, from Claygate in Surrey, and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf, who lived in Sweden, were all fatally shot on a remote forest road in Chevaline near Annecy on September 5 2012. Local cyclist Sylvain Mollier was also murdered.

Cheverlaine near Annecy in the Haute-Savoie region of south-eastern France. Credit: Chris Ison/PA Archive/Press Association Images

French police today arrested a 48-year-old man, from the Haute-Savoie region of France, in connection with the killings.

According to local media, the man is a former municipal policeman who lived close to the scene of the murders in Chevaline. Investigators were said to be looking into places that he had frequented.

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Report: Weapons found in arrested man's home

The man arrested in France has a motorcycle helmet similar to one in an e-fit issued by police, according to a French broadcaster. BFM claimed the man lived alone in the mountains and was found with arms in his home.

The sketch was released by French police in November.
The sketch was released by French police in November. Credit: Police Handout

In November, police released an image of a male motorcyclist they wanted to speak to in connection with the killings. at the time the helmet was said to be "very particular" and one of only a few thousand models worldwide.

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Man 'not being treated as suspect' in Alps murders

Police are currently searching the house of the man arrested as part of the investigation into the deaths of four people in 2012, in village near Chevaline.

The French prosecutor has said the man is not a suspect at this time but is being questioned because he resembles an e-fit and was in the area at the time of the killings. He could be released as early as this evening.

See more: Alps murder arrest follows motorcyclist e-fit

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Alps murder arrest follows motorcyclist e-fit

In November, police released an image of a male motorcyclist they wanted to speak to in connection with the killings.

The French Gendarmerie released an artist's impression of a motorcyclist who was seen riding in the area shortly before the four murders took place.

The sketch released by French police.
The sketch released by French police. Credit: Police Handout

Background: Prosecutor say e-fit man could be murderer or key witness

The man's helmet was said by Mr Maillaud at the time to be "very particular" and one of only a few thousand models worldwide, with a bottom section which opened laterally to reveal the lower face.

Read more: Man arrested over Alps killings

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Surrey police confirm Alps killings arrest

Police in the UK have confirmed the arrest of a man in France in connection with the murder of four people in the Alps.

British engineer Saad al- Hilli, his wife Iqbal, her mother Suhaila al-Allaf and French cyclist Sylvain Mollier were all killed in the attack on September 5 2012.

In a statement Surrey police said:

"Surrey Police can confirm that an arrest has been made in France today in connection with the murders of four people near Annecy, southern France in September 2012.

"The arrest has resulted from a line of enquiry in France and is not as a result of the investigation carried out in the UK."

Police officer charged with dodging a taxi fare

A police officer has been charged with failing to pay for a taxi journey. PC Gina Patten, based in Reigate, Surrey, has been bailed to appear in court following the alleged incident in Godstone High Street in January.

Surrey Police headquarters in Guildford Credit: Press Association

The 50-year-old faces a charge of making off without payment when her case is heard at Aldershot Magistrates' Court in March. Surrey Police said:

"She has been suspended from duty while the case goes through the court process."

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