Reports: UK police arrest brother in Alps killing

June 24, 2013

LONDON (AP) — The brother of a British-Iraqi man slain with three other people last year in a remote area of the French Alps has been arrested, according to British media reports Monday.

The media, including the BBC and Sky News, identified the man arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder as Zaid al-Hilli.

Police would not mention al-Hilli by name but did confirm that a 54-year-old man had been arrested. Authorities in Britain rarely identify suspects who haven't been charged — but such statements are routinely understood as confirmation of media reports.

Saad al-Hilli, his wife, an elderly relative and a cyclist were killed in the attack near Annecy last September but the couple's two young daughters survived. One was shot in the shoulder and severely beaten; the other was not physically harmed.

The young British sisters are the only known witnesses to the crime.

Family friends have described a dispute between Zaid al-Hilli and his brother Saad al-Hilli over their father's estate.

In France, prosecutor Eric Maillaud told French TV that "overwhelming and written evidence leaves no doubt about a violent family conflict that pitted the two brothers against each other in the question of their inheritance from their father."


Lori Hinnant in France contributed to this report.