Brother denies family conflict behind massacre in French Alps

120906 annecy car 140a.photoblog600 Brother denies family conflict behind massacre in French Alps

“It seems that there was a dispute between the two brothers about money … The brother will have to be questioned at length. Every lead will be meticulously followed,” he said.

On Friday, after learning of authorities’ suspicion about a possible family feud, Zaid al-Hilli went to British police and told them, “I have no conflict with my brother,” according to Eric Maillaud, a prosecutor in nearby Annecy.

“This brother came forward spontaneously to investigators, first to ask simply about the state of his brother because he heard through British media that his brother was dead,” Maillaud said, according to the AP.

But a family friend produced a letter written by Saad that alluded to an inheritance dispute with Zaid in the wake of their father’s recent death, the report said.

In an effort to avoid tipping off the perpetrator or perpetrators, French authorities released only a handful of clues about the investigation.

The U.K.’s Sky News said the prosecutor’s office had stressed the family dispute was just one of a number of possible scenarios being investigated by the authorities.

Al-Hilli was born in Baghdad in 1962, but had lived in Britain since at least 2002. Public records identified him as a mechanical engineer and his LinkedIn page described him as an aerospace consultant.

A British cyclist, reportedly a former member of Britain’s Royal Air Force, was the first on the scene of the shootings at about 4 p.m. Wednesday, when he came upon al-Hilli’s BMW with its engine running. The three dead al-Hilli family members were inside the car with the French cyclist, Sylvain Mollier, 40, lying dead outside.

Mollier, who had no ties to the family, had passed the British cyclist on the road earlier. The British man put the seven-year-old girl in the recovery position and called emergency services. He has been credited with saving her life.

“He had a strong command of his nerves. We must welcome his action and congratulate him,” Maillaud said Wednesday.

It is also hoped the children will have information useful to the investigators.

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