A Geneva prosecutor has confirmed that funds seized from a private bank account could be tied to the British victims of the Chevaline murders in nearby France, without revealing the amount involved.
Dario Zanni has been investigating potential Swiss links into the affair at the request of the French authorities, and enquiries are also underway in other cantons according to Geneva’s cantonal prosecutor’s office.
French investigators considered Switzerland as a potential escape route for the killer or killers. Geneva, for example, is around one hour’s drive from the scene of the crime.
Investigations have also been underway in Spain and Sweden, where one of the victims was resident.
Iraqi-born Saad al-Hilli, who was holidaying near Annecy, was shot twice in the head in his car along with his wife and his mother-in-law on September 5, while a passing cyclist was a collateral victim. The British couple’s two daughters survived the attack, although the eldest was seriously injured.
French prosecutor Eric Maillaud announced on Friday that there had been no breakthrough so far despite efforts from police in France and Britain. He said that any potential witnesses would be officially asked to step forward on Saturday, while investigations continue around Chevaline, the hamlet where the murders took place.
Profilers have joined the investigation. According to Maillaud, it seems less likely that a professional killer was involved.
“One does not imagine a hardened, highly-paid killer, firing more than 20 times,” he added. Police found at least 25 cartridges at the scene.
So far no hypothesis has been excluded so far as to what happened say the police. Three options were initially retained: a dispute between al-Hilli and his brother over their deceased father’s will; al-Hilli’s profession as an engineer on satellite and electronics projects; and his Iraqi origins.
swissinfo.ch and agencies