French Alps Murder Suspect, Zaid Hilli, Released On Bail

The brother of a British engineer shot dead with his wife and mother-in-law in the French Alps has been bailed after being arrested and questioned by police.

Zaid Hilli was arrested on Monday on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder after officers uncovered evidence to suggest he doctored documents to ensure he inherited the estate.

Iraqi-born engineer Saad al-Hilli, his wife, mother-in-law and French cyclist Sylvain Mollier were found shot dead near Annecy

Hilli, 54, has previously denied any feud with his sibling over an inheritance or involvement in the killings.

A police spokesman said: "The 54-year-old man who was arrested yesterday on suspicion of conspiracy to murder has tonight been released on bail until 31 July pending further enquiries."

The arrest has been the first significant development in the inquiry following the attack on a remote mountain road close to lake Annecy on 5 September.

Detectives searched Hilli's home in Chessington, Surrey, and were seen leaving the property with a plastic box, a ladder and two bags.

Eric Maillaud, Annecy's public prosecutor, said police were trying to establish any link between the alleged fraud and the brutal attack which killed Saad and Ikbal Al-Hilli, Mrs Al-Hilli's mother Suhaila al-Allaf, and local man Sylvain Mollier.

Mr Maillaud said detectives were aware of the allegedly false documents from an early stage in the investigation.

Around 100 police officers in Britain and France have been tasked with investigating the killings.

French investigators travelled to the UK last year to search the al-Hilli family home in Claygate, Surrey.

Their inquiry has focused on three lines of inquiry: Mr al-Hilli's work, links to his native Iraq and his family.

Reports of a dispute between the brothers emerged soon after the massacre and led Hilli to approach police to deny any suggestion of an argument over the will.