ALPS MASSACRE ORPHAN, 7, IS OUT OF COMA; Zainab Regains Consciousness as Sister Flies Home

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), September 10, 2012 | Go to article overview

ALPS MASSACRE ORPHAN, 7, IS OUT OF COMA; Zainab Regains Consciousness as Sister Flies Home


A SEVEN-year-old girl who was left in a coma after her parents were gunned down in the French Alps has recovered consciousness, while her younger sister returned to the UK with relatives.

Saad al-Hilli, 50, was killed in his car alongside his dentist wife, Iqbal, on Wednesday while the couple's daughter Zainab narrowly escaped death after being shot and beaten. Her younger sister Zeena, aged four, lay undiscovered under her mother's corpse for eight hours.

Zainab, seen as a key witness for police investigating the killings, has now come out of a medically-induced coma but remains under sedation.

Meanwhile, Zeena yesterday flew back to the UK with relatives - reportedly an aunt and uncle - who had travelled to France alongside a British social worker and family liaison officers from Surrey Police.

Commenting on the progress made by Zainab, public prosecutor Eric Maillaud said: "The young girl is out of the artificial coma but she is sedated and therefore still can't be heard from."

Zainab is expected to be interviewed by police as soon as doctors allow it, but Mr Maillaud could not say how long that may be.

Commenting on Zeena's departure, he said: "She returned to the UK by air.

"On arrival she was put under the care of the authorities and the social services."

An older Swedish woman travelling in the car also died in the shooting, with Sylvain Mollier, 45, a French cyclist who apparently stumbled across the attack in the Combe d'Ire forest near Chevaline. …

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