ALPS MASSACRE: BROTHER HELD; POLICE QUIZ RELATIVE OF BRITON SHOT DEAD WITH WIFE AND MOTHER-IN-LAWFirst Arrest over Alps Murders

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Byline: Justin Davenport Crime Editor

THE brother of a British engineer murdered in the Alps with his wife and mother-in-law was arrested today at his home in Surrey.

Zaid al-Hilli, 54, was held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit murder by detectives from a joint British and French squad investigating the massacre.

The arrest is the first in the nine month inquiry into the shocking murders in September last year.

British engineer Saad al-Hilli, 50, his wife Ikbal, 47, and Mrs al-Hilli's mother, Suhalia, 74, were shot dead in a secluded beauty spot in the family's BMW.

Sylvain Mollier, a 45-year-old French cyclist, was also killed at the scene. The attack is believed to have been carried out by at least one gunman armed with a pistol.

The al-Hillis' four-year-old daughter Zeena lay undiscovered under her mother's body in their BMW for eight hours after the shooting.

Her seven-year-old sister Zainab was found with serious injures after being shot and beaten. Today's arrest comes after Surrey police set up a Joint Investigation Team to work with French police on solving the murders in a forest clearing close to Lake Annecy in eastern France.

It emerged recently that they wanted to question Zaid al-Hilli about a series of phone calls made from his phone to numbers in Romania. …