Family feud eyed over Alp shooting
ANNECY, FranceFrench prosecutors focused on a feud between brothers as they searched for a motive in the slayings of a British-Iraqi family vacationing in the French Alps.
Two young sisters survived the deaths of their parents and an older woman in the family car late Sept. 5, as well as a French cyclist whose body was found nearby. The children, apparently the only witnesses to the shootings on an isolated Alpine road, were under police and consular protection Friday.
Prosecutor Eric Maillaud said British police have reported that the girls’ father had been feuding with his brother over money. A family friend said the father of the two men died recently while public records showed the brother had left the victim’s small aeronautics design firm.
The case has taken international ramifications with links tying the slain family to Britain, Iraq, Sweden and Spain. Maillaud said the BMW station wagon in which three of the bodies were found was registered to a British man born in Baghdad in 1962. The man, identified as Saad al-Hilli, had lived in Britain since at least 2002, and his family had been in France since August.
Maillaud has declined to confirm any identities, pending results of DNA and fingerprint tests. Sweden confirmed one of the victims was Swedish. French authorities found a Swedish passport that apparently belonged to the older woman, born in 1938, as well as an Iraqi passport.
Saad al-Hilli’s father died recently in Spain, family friend Mae Faisal El-wailly told The Associated Press. She described the family as wealthy and well-trave