Annecy Lake Murders: media focuses on Zaid Al-Hilli and ignores Suhaila Al Saffa and Sylvain Mollier
THE Annecy Lake Murders: The murders of Saad Al-Hilli, his wife Ikbal Al-Hilli, 74-year-old Suhaila Al Saffa and Sylvain Mollier in the media:
Sunday Express (front page): “Each victim shot twice”
Sunday Telegraph (front page): ANGUISH OF MURDERED BRITON’S BROTHER”
Star on Sunday (front page): “Victims letter confirms feud”
The media focus is on Zaid Al-Hilli, one of the victim’s older brothers. He denies any row. Still, the Star claims to have seen a letter:
SAAD AL-HILLI: ‘I’VE HAD TO WIPE MY CONTROL FREAK BROTHER OUT OF MY LIFE’ – A FAMILY friend of the British dad murdered in the Alps has lifted the lid on the bitter inheritance feud tearing the Al-Hilli family apart.
Who are they, then?
In a letter to a pal just a year ago victim Saad Al-Hilli accused his brother of trying to seize “control of his father’s assets”. Saad, 50, told childhood friend Mae Faisal El-Wailly in the letter dated September 16, 2011, that his older sibling Zaid, 53, was “a control freak” who he had to “wipe out of his life”.
Only, Mr Saad Al-Hilli has been murdered, or wiped out.
The revelation appears to confirm rumours of a family feud and comes after a possible inheritance dispute relating to the wealth and assets of the brothers’ father, Kadhem, who died last year.
Kadeem. Khadim. Kadhem. However the papers spell it, we have seen no proof or a family row nor seen anything to suggest if there was one it is linked to the murders of four people.
French police confirmed they are set to question Zaid Al-Hilli about the possible row, although he is not under arrest and is being treated as a witness.
They will question a lot of people. They will question the former RAF man who, as the story goes, was the first person at the crime scene, arriving on a bicycle. They will question people who knew Sylvain Mollier, a father of three, shot dead by five bullets, soem say. The Sunday Times says he was hit with seven bullets. The story goes that he was passing on a bicycle, unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Mirror, however, picks up on the nuclear link:
Nuclear link to French Alps massacre: Murdered Saad al-Hilli worked at top-secret British lab
Iraqi-born engineer Saad, 50, worked at the internationally-renowned Rutherford Appleton research centre in the 1980s. His links to the lab will fuel conspiracy theories about the gun attack which left the dad of two, his wife Ikbal and another woman dead in their BMW in the French Alps on Wednesday.
Our revelation follows claims that Saad’s family had owned an engineering plant in Iraq, that he was spied on by Special Branch during the Gulf War and that his aerial satellite photo firm worked for the Ministry of Defence.
According to an ex-colleague at the Rutherford lab in Didcot, Oxon, Saad worked on a giant particle accelerator which can make radioactive material.
Mr. Mollier worked for CEZUS, a subsidiary of AREVA, the global leader in the market for zirconium, the metal used, among other things, for nuclear fuel cladding. CEZUS’s operations are distributed over six sites. One site in Ugine handles production of ingots and transformation of zirconium, titanium, tantalum, and hafnium into semi-finished products. Cezus also have an R&D site in Ugine.
The Sunday Times adds:
Police officers have already visited Saad’s workplace in Guildford, Surrey. The company is the world’s leading small satellite maker. It is owned by EADS, the European defence company, and helped to develop the TopSat programme for the Ministry of Defence, the UK’s first military surveillance satellite.
Defence experts say the technology offered smaller countries that could not afford costly space programmes the chance to launch “micro-satellites”, which could be used for a variety of purposes including surveillance missions.
Derek Reed, who worked at the company, said: “We are all shocked and baffled by what could be behind this.”
The media only focuses on Saad Al-Hilli. But four people were killed.
While making the letter available to the authorities, Mrs El-Wailly said she did not believe Zaid had anything to do with the killings. Saad had written: “Zaid and I do not communicate any more as he is another control freak. He tried to take control of father’s assets and demanded control. Anyway, it is a long story and now I have just had to wipe him out of my life. Sad but I need to concentrate now on my wife and two lovely girls…”
Zaid is being spoken about in connection with a brutal murder. But he is grieving.
His cousin Ali al-Hilli tell the Telegraph
“I don’t think Zaid is coping with the pressure. He is really in very deep shock. When I spoke to him he was clearly devastated. He wasn’t coping. He is on his own. I think he feels lonely. I was trying my best to give him support although I am far away… Icalled Zaid the same day I heard the news to see how he was doing. He was in shock. My sister and I were offering support for him and especially around the issue of the girls: how we can look after them and make sure they have a prosperous future, and that is our focus at the moment. My sister was in contact with the British authorities offering to be responsible for them at some stage. The message was the family would like to take care of the girls and she is ready to go and help them with schooling and we even had a discussion with Zaid to ensure he takes a role as well, and he needs to focus on the girls…As far as I know, Zaid is intending to go to France to look after the children…”
The paper then adds:
While Saad was an engineer on satellite and electronics projects, Zaid works for Burhill Group Ltd, a golf and leisure company, at its head office in Walton-on-Thames in Surrey, close to where he owns a home.
And then this gem:
Zaid was awarded a “luxury” pen in recognition of 10 years’ loyal service in 2010.
Why tell us that? We have heard that Zaid is grieving. Is his life under the media microscope, no detail too small to publish? Poor sod.
Over in the Sun, the paper is looking at the investigation:
TWO mobile phones may hold “crucial” clues to the Alps massacre, it emerged yesterday. They were found in the bullet-riddled BMW in which three members of a British family were shot dead.
The assassins would leave behind mobiles?
French cops suspect aerospace businessman Saad Al-Hilli, 50, was lured to an ambush by a professional hit squad. And the phones’ call and text records could reveal information about who Mr Al-Hilli was dealing with in the days, hours or even minutes before he was murdered along with his dentist wife Ikbal, 47, and her mother Suhaila, 74.
Sure. But is it really likely?
Photo: Police at the home of French shooting victim, Saad al-Hilli in Claygate, Surrey as the search continues.