On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 – more than nine months ago –  the Iraqi-born Saad Al-Hilli was shot to death in Haute Savoie (Upper Savoy) in France. He, his family – wife, two small daughters and his mother-in-law – were on holiday in this very beautiful area of France. His wife and mother-in-law were also […]

Saad Al-Hilli

Saad Al-Hilli

On Wednesday, September 5, 2012 – more than nine months ago –  the Iraqi-born Saad Al-Hilli was shot to death in Haute Savoie (Upper Savoy) in France. He, his family – wife, two small daughters and his mother-in-law – were on holiday in this very beautiful area of France.

His wife and mother-in-law were also shot dead and the elder of the daughters was also shot as well as beaten over her head, but she survived. Mrs Saad Al-Hilli had the reflex to hide the younger daughter under her dress on the rear floor of the family’s BMW.

Also shot to death was a French cyclist who might or might not have been the primary target.

We, here on this blog, have been speculating about what had happened that September day from almost the day the media first reported the murders.

One of us, Alexander Cartier, went to Haute Savoie this past April and filmed the lay-by where the killing had taken place. You can watch his very interesting video here on YouTube.


UPDATE Sunday, June 16, 2013

Already on our 7th thread and this multiple murder remains as far from solving as the day of the shooting on September 5, 2012.

Chevaline means horse meat: Here is one of Paris's horse butchers.

Chevaline means horse meat: Here is one of Paris’s horse butchers.

UPDATE Friday, May 31, 2013.

Great frustration is being expressed over the slowness of the French investigators to solve this atrocious murder, especially so when September 5 approaches and the French prosecutor’s office releases some small detail about the investigation, but as quickly fall silent again.

So, how long will the investigation continue before it will be classified as a ‘cold case’.

In France a case remains open for as long as the examining magistrate considers it necessary. There is a requirement though: the examining magistrate must regularly have a fresh lead to justify further investigation or the State will close the case because of inactivity on the part of the judiciary. A case could thus remain open indefinitely provided there is proof of judicial activity.

What if a suspect is named and the individual is not in France? Say the investigators do not even know his (or her) whereabouts?

In such a case, the French judiciary can indict the suspect and liaise with Interpol to issue an International Arrest Warrant. This means that the police of the 190 member states of Interpol are authorized to arrest the suspect. The French can also proceed to put the murderer on trial in absentia. This had happened in 1995 with the Kalinka Bamberski Case when the teenager’s rapist and murderer, the German doctor Dieter Krombach, was sentenced to 15 years incarceration. On his arrest in France in 2011 a retrial was held and the 15-year sentence was confirmed.

In a trial in absentia there will be no jury and the presiding judge, assisted by two magistrates, will pass their verdict. In such a trial the accused could, by law, be represented by a counsel who would plead his case: the counsel would be chosen by the accused’s family. In the event of a guilty verdict the counsel would not be allowed to appeal.



2012 Don't Eat Horses Campaign in Paris.

2012 Don’t Eat Horses Campaign in Paris.




Zaid Al-Hilli


Zaid Al-Hilli, 54, the brother of the murdered Saad Al-Hilli, has been arrested at his home in Chessington, Surrey, at 7.30 a.m. this morning (Monday, June 24, 2013) on suspicion of ‘Conspiracy to Commit Murder’.

Reports drifting around Paris is that he allegedly hired a gunman to shoot his brother.

If the gunman is ever arrested he faces life imprisonment for ‘assassination’ (murder with premeditation) under Article 221-3 of the French Code Pénal.  For the violence against the seven-year-old Al-Hilli daughter, Zainab, added to the life sentence will be thirty years for violence on a minor under the age of fifteen. (Article 222-14 of the French penal code – Code Pénal.)

A for Zaid Al-Hilli, should he be found guilty of ‘Conspiracy to Commit Murder’ and in the event that the murder had been carried out, he too faces life behind bars. (Article 221-5)

However, before sentencing there would have to the arrest of the gunman and then extradition to France not only of him but also of  Zaid Al-Hilli and Britain does not easily extradite its nationals.

Naturally, there would also have to be a trial and not in the United Kingdom but here in France because the crime was committed here.

Therefore, should both the British and French police find sufficient evidence to put Zaid Al-Hilli on trial, there will be no quick end to this case. French justice is slow, very slow indeed: an accused sits in prison for years. Three years easily. Even longer.


UPDATE: JUNE 27, 2013

Zaid Al-Hilli was released on bail today without having been charged. His bail is valid until July 31,2013.


If you wish to read previous posts about this shooting at Chevaline on September 5, 2012 you can do so

here – September 6, 2012

here – September 8, 2012

here – October 25, 2012

here – November 7, 2012

here – December 9, 2012

here – March 3, 2013

here – April 20, 2013

here – May, 31, 2013

here – June 16, 2013





Marilyn Z. Tomlins


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    Marilyn Z. Tomlins Says:

    I’ve been working on a new thread. So I am now closing this one.

    The new thread is to be found below.“new thread

    Lars, your suggestion is a very good one. I can not however do such a summary. So if anyone wants to volunteer, you will be most welcome and I am sure your assistance will be much appreciate by all.

    This morning I went over all comments right from the start on September 6, 2012 and I will later today on the new thread post our ‘history’. I will however just say that Alex was the first to have left a comment and second was NR.

    See you all on the new thread.

  4. 842
    Lars Says:

    @Marilyn and all

    I have an idea for part 8 of this blog thread:

    Could we not in the “head” list some known “facts”, like the type of car (al-Hilli’s), type of gun, type of ammo, names etc?

    So that FB and others don’t have to answer these type of questions a zillion times.

    You could all below propose “facts” we could list in that header.

  5. 841
    Eugene Says:

    So once again authorities are inconsistent. We’ve been told repeatedly Saad’s car was a 5.25 and then what do we find out, it actually was a 5.30.
    What does this hide? Not skid marks. Maybe should we ask the French crew who did the Channel 4 docdrama.

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