French Alps shooting will take 'very long time' to solve
A FRENCH prosecutor has warned that finding the killers of a British family gunned down in the Alps will take a "very, very long time".
Around 100 police officers in Britain and France are investigating the deaths of Iraqi-born British engineer Saad al-Hilli, 50, his dentist wife Iqbal, 47, her elderly mother and passing French cyclist Sylvain Mollier in the shocking attack last month.
The couple's four-year-old daughter Zeena hid undiscovered under her mother's corpse for eight hours after the shooting while her seven-year-old sister Zainab was found shot and beaten but alive outside their BMW.
They were attacked in a remote forest car park by the village of Chevaline near Lake Annecy and finding a clear lead as to why the four were massacred has proved elusive, with no suspects arrested.
Annecy's chief prosecutor Eric Maillaud said: "It's a long task and there's nothing that gives hope of a result in the near future."
French investigators travelled to the UK and searched the al-Hilli family home in Claygate, Surrey, in the wake of the deaths. They say they are focusing on three lines of inquiry: Mr al-Hilli's work, his family and links to his native Iraq.
Mr Maillaud said: "We're investigating everything but it all takes a lot of time, trying to piece together the lives of all the people who have died, trying to perhaps understand a real motive, the real reasons for these killings.
"Perhaps if we can understand why they were killed we can work out who killed them but at the moment there are many questions. I think the investigation will take a very, very long time, unless we discover something that will suddenly enable us to understand everything.
"There are lines of inquiry but each raises so many questions and nothing suggests there will be a quick solution."
He said it was too early to say whether officers would travel to Iraq as part of the inquiry.
Last month, a joint Franco-British investigation team was set up to streamline inquiries after Mr Maillaud admitted that bureaucratic obstacles had at times made progress "extremely slow".
By Henry Samuel, Paris Telegraph.co.uk