Saad al-Hilli, the British-Iraqi man killed alongside his wife and mother-in-law in a mysterious shooting in the French Alps last month, had access to a bank account linked to late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, according to media reports.

Further details of last month's quadruple murder in the French Alps were revealed after a report was leaked to a French newspaper.

In a two-page special report, the respected French newspaper, Le Monde, revealed chilling new details of the shooting of three members of a British-Iraqi family and a French cyclist near Lake Annecy in September.

Le Monde also made a link between the al-Hilli family and the alleged missing fortune of the former Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein.


The newspaper said that German intelligence "was believed" to have told French authorities of a possible connection between the al-Hilli family and the rumoured missing Saddam millions.

But the Saddam link was formally denied by French investigators yesterday. The head of the murder investigation, Gendarmerie Colonel Benoit Vinnemann, said: "This is false. No intelligence service from any country has given us any information of this kind."

The newspaper said that the Iraqi-born engineer, Saad al-Hilli, 50, had originally been shot and wounded while standing with his daughter on a forest lay-by near the village of Chevaline. He ran to his car, trying but failing to pull 7-year-old Zainab with him.

As he reversed his BMW estate at high speed, al-Hilli ran over and dragged the wounded body of the local cyclist, Sylvain Hillier, 45, who had also been hit by the gunman's first volley of shots.

In his panic, al-Hilli backed violently into the steep forest side and his car stuck fast.

The killer, who was armed with an obsolete, 80-year-old Luger pistol, fired more shots through the car windows, killing al-Hilli, his wife, Iqbal, 47, and her mother, Suhaila al-Allaf, 74. He then finished off the cyclist and beat Zainab savagely with the handle of his gun. The little girl failed to get back into her parents' car. She only survived because the gunman ran out of bullets.

- Independent