The possibility was raised by German secret agents working on the international enquiry into the quadruple killing close to Lake Annecy on September 5. Iraqi-born Saad Al-Hilli, 50, died in a blaze of gunfire alongside his wife Iqbal, 47, his mother-in-law Suhaila Al-Allaf, 74, and Sylvain Mollier, 45, a French cyclist. Since the massacre in an isolated wooden layby on September 5th, police and prosecutors have been at a loss to establish a motive for the bloodshed. But now intelligence officials based in Berlin have uncovered evidence that Mr Al-Hilli may have had access to cash which belonged to the former Iraqi dictator.
This raises the possibility that sinister forces specifically targeted Mr Al-Hilli as a means of gaining access to part of the enormous wealth that Saddam hid around the world, and especially in Switzerland. Specialist police were last week questioning Geneva-based bankers about the Al-Hilli’s assets, while financial records in countries including the USA have also been requested. It has already been established that Mr Al-Hilli was in dispute with his older brother, 53-year-old Zaid Al-Hilli, over the will of their father, Kadhim, who died around a year ago in Spain. Until now it was thought that the money under dispute came from Kadhim’s property dealing and other business interests.
But the German agents have now told their French anti-terrorist counterparts that cash deposited in an Al-Hilli account in Geneva originally came from Saddam. Kadhim, a former factory owner, left Baghdad in the late 1970s with his wife, Fasiha, and two boys, after allegedly falling foul of Saddam's Ba'ath Party. The family settled in Pimlico, central London, with any accounts containing money given to Kadhim by Saddam allegedly frozen after Kadhim was struck off a "list of beneficiaries", according to the new German intelligence. But the clear implication is that Kadhim may not have fallen out with Saddam at all, and was in fact being used to get money out of Iraq on behalf of the dictator, who was always making plans in case he was overthrown.