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7,506 thoughts on “Not Forgetting the al-Hillis continued

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  • Good In Parts

    Peter

    The return to the UAE does raise questions. I, like you, think that closing off a trail in the UAE was to confound anyone wishing to trace her.

    It seems possible that not taking the most obvious option of going to Sweden, was also to avoid leaving a trail leading to her family. I had previously thought that she had been actively seeking seeking to get away from her brother.

    My understanding was that, in the interview, Zaid acknowledged that he was aware of her previous marriage (to JT). However I don’t think it was clear that he knew that her divorce had not come through when she re-married.

  • NotForgettingFrenchBashing

    @Peter
    ” The matter of Iqbal’s bigamous marriage still intrigues me. ”
    Would her own mother not know? Would she decide to donate her hardly won monies to bastard grand-daughters, when her poor daughter in Reading had to fly EasyJet to Geneva? It cant be true. Under Cheria law, that would be a case for extreme prejudice.

    MEAT the local nutter

  • Good In Parts

    Mr Juicy

    Yep, Eric’s misdirection attempts are obvious. When he gives his favourite journalists some salacious gossip there is always something to be glossed over.

    The search for the ‘missing’ passports must have wasted a lot of resources.

    They were never missing. They were in a jacket in an evidence bag where they had been placed! So, good evidence control protocols there then.

    In the same vein, there was the major distraction caused by DNA contamination of a spent cartridge by one of their own officers which led them to think they had the DNA profile of the killer. They ended up taking the DNA profile of, I think, approx 150 officers who were involved in the custodial chain.

    That they did not already have the profiles of their team on file leaves me somewhat perplexed.

    I had best not start ranting on about the ‘clean up’ of the crine scene and it’s re-opening.

    And this is just some of the stuff which is public. You can be sure there is a lot more under the carpet. There has already been one internal review of this investigation. We are not going to see that report any time soon.

  • Good In Parts

    James

    The robbery-gone-wrong theory is not the most likely or the most ‘interesting’ however mashed up with the-wrong-BMW or some such, it can fit the bill.

    It seems to me that there are a range of ‘outliers’ that are both ‘unlikely’ and ‘difficult to investigate’, principally because a ‘mistake’ has ensured that there is no traceable connection between the victims and the killer.

    Unless the gendarmes have been incompetent, we have been deep in ‘outlier’ territory for some time now.

  • Peter

    @ Good In Parts, 1 Jun, 2015 – 12:21 pm
    You are right: In the interview, Zaid only said that he had been aware all along that she had been married before.

    @ NotForgettingFrenchBashing, 1 Jun, 2015 – 12:35 pm
    Whether Iqbal’s mother knew that the marriage to Saad was, at least on paper, bigamous, is an interesting question. I don’t think that she did. Gaming asylum and welfare systems is something that the entire family seems to have excelled at; thus, breaking one more technical rule would not have worried her mother unduly. However, Iqbal living under the same roof as her “husband” Jim Thompson is something that her mother most definitely would not have approved of. In short, my guess is that the mother did not know about the divorce papers being submitted late because she did not know about the sham marriage to Jim Thompson in the first place.

  • M.

    @Peter, completely agree and I doubt her father and Zaid (witnesses) did at this time either

    What was the rush ? Maybe this is the mistake Saad made reference to, fabulous blackmail reason and almost impossible to put right without revealing the truth to the authorities.

    Of course it doesn’t change the girls nationality, they were born in England, weren’t they so British.

    No wonder the FRENCH are confused about the crime, and they will know much more than is in the public arena

    Seems the FRENCH way of keeping quiet and not telling the whole world of the troubles within a family has been the right approach

  • Q

    @Mr.Juicy: Old rice is always better with butter, and perhaps a side of poisson (d’avril).

    As to other matters, it is no longer a certainty that children born to those who entered a country illegally will retain their citizenship in the new country.

    As for British law, with the new secret deportation system and rapid deportation process, and the negative climate for Iraqi migrants, I wonder if the reason for the sudden trip to France had to do with the discovery of Iqbal and Saad’s marriage being legally void, an offence punishable by a prison term of more than one year, which could have made her deportable. Would the girls lose their citizenship as the result of illegal entry by their mother and a void marriage that produced them?

    Who would profit from this coming to the attention of authorities, other than someone with a claim to Saad’s share of the estate? The late James Thompson? What other secrets would come out if Iqbal’s secret had been revealed before Chevaline?

    Why would a lone butter pursue the little girls back to a safe house across the Channel if this were a robbery gone wrong, and if Mollier alone was the target, and why would the British keep silent about this, if it is true? The girls are still under guard? For the rest of their lives? This is beyond a random encounter with robbers in the backwoods of France. Is M. Maillaud frustrated with the British investigators and the case itself, is he M. Clouseau, or is the world a stage and he its finest actor?

    What has become of the Thompson family now? Are they crisis actors, as the C-world likes to call people that magically disappear after dramatic international stories, then disappear just as quickly? Have the Thompsons had any more dreams of poison darts? Is the bigamous marriage a poisson with no documents to prove it?

    This is an opera.

  • Q

    The big concern with deportations nowadays seems to focus on whether or not deportees will become stateless. This is a non-no in international law. Iqbal would not have become stateless.

    I do not know the rules for children born via illegal entry and void marriage to a person who held dual citizenship. Were the girls dual citizens? That could have opened the door for their expulsion, too, possibly. Or, like the children in the story I posted yesterday, they may have remained while their mother was removed. That case did not involve bigamy or a dual-citizen father.

    Of course we do not know if this was the reason for the sudden trip to France at the start of the school year.

  • Q

    More old rice.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10955833/Alps-murder-FBI-offered-to-exhume-body-in-Al-Hilli-investigation.html

    So the family refused an exhumation, even though at least one family member ascribed to the poison dart theory.

    Jim T. And Iqbal never consummated their marriage and split up about a year later? Wouldn’t this make for an annulment, rather than a divorce? And wouldn’t Iqbal’s chance of a green card or U.S. citizenship have gone out the window? Did someone expose the sham marriage, ratting out the Thompson family? Who?

    Also, did Jim have to sign a sponsorship guaranteeing that he would pay for Iqbal if she ever needed welfare during the 10-year period after the marriage, as is customary in some countries?

    Is bigamy by way of a first void marriage that has not been annulled properly before a second marriage in another country still bigamy? If the first marriage was void, how could the second marriage be bigamy? Can a team of international law experts please explain?

    The bigamy poisson is another conundrum.

  • michael norton

    I think the FRENCH people should be angry and shocked.
    They are paying a fortune in EUROS to have The Slaughter of the Horses investigated.
    I wouldn’t mind guessing that the FRENCH have coughed up close to five million by now, with NO RESULTS.

    WOT A SHAMBLES.

    Now a court case has muzzled their media.

    Are these FRENCH prosecutors voted into their positions
    or are they appointed by politicians?

  • Q

    The UAE has a one-day marriage annulment procedure:

    http://gulfnews.com/news/uae/general/marriage-annulment-available-to-all-1.799819

    Divorce:

    http://www.worldlawdirect.com/forum/divorce-separation-annulment/79423-annulment-ceremonial-marriage-us-citizen.html

    “A divorce obtained in the UAE with service of notice to the absent defendant is considered valid and recognized by the U.S. courts. A divorce decree obtained in the UAE generally is recognized in United States on the basis of “comity”, provided that both parties receive service of process and one of the parties was a domiciliary in the UAE at the time of the divorce. Dubai Courts have approved the issuance of a certificate for annulment of marriage between non-Muslims. The first step the couple should do is to register the case at the Moral and Family Guidance Section at the court. A woman also may sue for divorce if her husband abandons her for a period of three months. If the couple is non-Muslim, they can seek divorce according to the law of their country at the embassy or consulate.”

    This is internet forum advice from people whose qualifications are not verified.

  • M.

    Apparently she travelled to UAE to sign six days after her marriage to Saad, it took two months for the papers

    Maillaud said the divorce was quite ordinary, well six days or two months after another marriage is not ordinary in my world.

    Maybe he was trying to save the blushes of the family and not aware of the dates although he says they knew about the first marriage soon after the deaths, found in amongst papers in the house

    Puzzling, curious, intriguing

    If they were planning on fleeing, why leave jewels and cash in the safe at home (Maillaud)?

  • Q

    I’m not sure which is accurate in describing Iqbal and Jim’s marriage: “about a year” or “about two years”. Both have been used. This is how much obfuscation has gone on, even in the smallest details of this story. Surely it cannot be hard to say the exact number of months the marriage lasted. Did the green card people come knocking at the Thompsons’ door?

    I’m assuming important papers would have been kept in the safe.

    Transporting jewels across borders? Ask the Mastros how to do it, in a secret compartment in a vehicle.

    Was the holiday planned, or very spur-of-the-moment, thus not stopping to notify the school? No plan, no time is my bet.

  • michael norton

    I suppose the locals of Saint-Joritz, Lathuile, Doussard, Faverges, Grignon, Ugine and Chevaline must have opinions as to who the killers were and motives.

  • M.

    As do others on this blog and in the UK or Spain or Iraq or Australia or even in the US of A

    Whomever the target or none, I doubt the gunman with or without accomplice could ever know the can of worms he was about to open

    It happened on FRENCH soil, under FRENCH jurisdiction, the Press have been dealt with under FRENCH law, the ENGLISH get into trouble for phone tapping ?

    Law of the land, they took a risk and it slightly backfired the fine for BFMtv will be lost in their accounts

    Michael, for your eyes only, RIZET HAS NOT BEEN JAILED

  • michael norton

    @ M,
    I did not think he was jailed, just another translation glitch.

    I wonder when the five persons from Doussard and Ugine who are in clink for shooting Nicole Communal-Tournier dead, will show in court.
    How long is it since they were caught, about a year?

  • M.

    Michael? I wouldn’t worry about them, some were already known to les flics and part of the travelling community, probably making sure they get them for all their misdeameanours

    How long do murder/manslaughter cases take to come to court in the UK ?

    That translation glitch really needs to be put in his place, what a naughty boy he is, tut, tut.

  • Good In Parts

    michael norton

    When I read about the tragic Nicole Communal-Tournier murder I wondered whether someone needed to ‘leave town’ in a hurry and that the failed robbery was a crime of desperation to quickly raise untraceable cash in order to do so.

    I am sure that the gendarmes have fully investigated all the campsite workers and calls from the campsites not to mention crosschecked the two cases.

    The organiser was from Doussard, was he not?

  • Peter

    @ Q, 1 Jun, 2015 – 4:44 pm

    Those UAE marriage-annulment laws that you quoted pertain to non-Muslims. Do you reckon that “Kelly Thompson” posed as a non-Muslim in the UAE?

  • Good In Parts

    M.

    “What was the rush ? Maybe this is the mistake Saad made reference to, fabulous blackmail reason and almost impossible to put right without revealing the truth to the authorities.”

    I have been wondering about the ‘mistake’ he referred to for some time, yours is the best suggestion so far.

    I suspect that with the help of a good (and expensive) lawyer an approach to the UK authorities could have been made on the basis that there had been a ‘cultural misunderstanding’.

    That in fact she, as a Shia, had wished to comply with her religious obligations whilst getting work experience in the US and staying with a friend of the family who was not a direct relative. Thus she had entered into a marriage which she had assumed was a fixed term, temporary, marriage.

    Quelle horreur – this had turned out not to be the case as she discovered after her permanent marriage had taken place in the UK.

    Given two young children, otherwise good character and voluntary disclosure (not forgetting that good lawyer) a case could be made that even a prosecution would not be in the public interest.

    Even easier if there were actually a blackmail attempt – inform the Police and co-operate fully as a witness. Unless there are actually body parts under the patio, the system is sympa.

  • Good In Parts

    Does anyone remember anything about Suhalia having UN travel documents that needed renewal?

    Was she still on the UN staff at her age? Or is it a case of “no one actually leaves UN service”.

    What about Iqbal? That hospital in Palestine, was it UN too?

  • M.

    The Nicole case, the instigator from Doussard drank at the bar of the campsite, that’s why he didn’t speak, it was a teenager at the bottom of the stairs who fired at the first floor flat door not knowing the woman was behind it

    Good idea of a lawyer sorting the void marriage, costly ?

    Doesn’t appear they used this method, just to play along, their marriage in 2003 would be void, using the lawyer angle, they could have then married again, legally.

    Someone with a grudge could have made this very nasty for them

    All supposition, quite bizarre Jim dying a few hours later the same day, what was the time difference ? Using CET Summer time ?

    Heart attack from the shock of Iqbals death, the Tomtoms must have been working particularly fast to get that info to the US of A considering they hadn’t opened the car and found her Iraqi passport.

    Just one of those things, why didn’t he die another day.

  • Mr Juicy

    @ Q

    Here’s another couple of bowls of the stuff I’ve just ladled out of the wok.

    I think Ambassador Murray dropped a helpful clue when he said at the very beginning of the saga, quoting MI6/MI5 sources, that SAH is “not of current (current) interest to the security services.” Use of the adjective “current” is a common bureaucratic device used when one wants to be a little economical with the truth. It suggests to me that SAH has previously been an intelligence asset for the British, or was considered as a potential asset to be activated as and when required, or had been passed to, or was suspected of working for, another intelligence service.

    The whole matter of the bigamous marriage, with the attendant risks of humiliating exposure or even deportation, would have provided the incentive (if needed) for SAH to cooperate with whoever was running him as an agent. (I am putting it this way round so as to avoid that unpleasant word blackmail.)

    We can be sure that the CIA knew of the bigamous marriage. What is the statistical likelihood of the two parties concerned dying within hours of each other? About the same as the chances of finding Elvis on Mars, or Boris Johnson being reincarnated as an olive, to borrow a phrase. Or being killed by a flying poisson d’avril in Billingsgate.

    As for the mystery of the house hunting photographer outside the daughter’s safehouse in upmarket suburbia, this was surely a case of “left hand, right hand.” The part of HMG’s security structure responsible for protecting the girls knew nothing of the activities of the part with an interest in the ex-commando, regardless of whether he was on HMG’s payroll. A bit of an embarrassment, but not unusual: when people operate in the shadows, they do tend to fall over each other. A couple of phone calls from the relevant quarters and the man is released, no more questions asked. Anyway, the whole amusing saga would have eventually got back to the French, who probably know (unofficially) exactly what happened, but could not resist a poker faced dig at the British for “poor policing”.

    Last but not least, William Brett Martin…

  • Mr Juicy

    … William Brett Martin.

    Nice guy – likeable, extremely personable, down to earth, the sort we’d be happy to have a pint with at the pub. And smart, fluent, plausible. Touch of class too: educated at St Kentigen’s College, one of the very best (fee paying) private schools in New Zealand. Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Air Defence Weaponeering Instructor (Royal Air Force) 1978-89. Now an independent consultant (flight training). Could all this be deep cover for a (part time) intelligence career? Yes, it could. Does he fit the profile? Yes he does. Can we be sure? No we can’t. Deep cover means living the role so well that it is as much a part of you as the other stuff you do from time to time.

    Is WMB as innocent as he says he is? Or is he a consummate professional?

    My money would be on the second, but it’s a close call. I would theorize that his job was to keep watch on what was happening and report back. His instructions were probably not to get involved directly: perhaps anonymously, out of sight, undeclared to SAH and unknown to the killer; or perhaps SAH knew he would be there, but discreetly hidden. For some reason, the whole thing went disastrously wrong, and my guess is that he did hear the shots. WBM could have made a run for it, but this could have been risky since his presence in the area could have been known and he would come under suspicion. More likely his professional training kicked in: there may have been things he needed to check first. And once he arrived at the scene, his instinct would have been to help the young girl. Therefore the better option was to play the part of the innocent cyclist, and to fix things so that he could revert to his cover life after the affair had blown over.

    The BBC interview was a key part of this strategy. It was carefully scripted, I think. Ground rules were agreed with the BBC interviewer (eg don’t press for certain details). WBM was left free to tell his story as he wanted. Key messages were (1) he didn’t hear the shots (placing him further from the action that he probably was); (2) “it was all like a scene from Hollywood” (to emphasize that he’s just an ordinary guy, no special training or background); (3) he had to turn the ignition off to stop the rear wheels spinning (to explain why his DNA would be on the interior of the car); (4) the young girl staggered onto the road in front of him (to explain why his DNA was on her and hers on him); (5) he expected to be shot by a sniper (to distance himself from what he knew had really happened); (6) his mobile had no signal (to explain why he did not himself call the police but ran down the hill away from the scene).

    The strategy worked. WBM has resumed his cover life (which was probably 80%+ of his life anyway). His LinkedIn profile has not been removed, but in fact has been updated several times since 2012. His website advertising his property for rent is functioning normally. Perhaps he still visits the region as regularly as before (as implied in his interview to Panorama). I am sure that his not so “mauvais” French continues to improve.

    I accept that this part of France is full of Brits with holiday homes who enjoy cycling to remote places. But for a Brit with WBM’s intriguing profile to be there by chance at precisely that moment looks like another flying poisson. If he is innocent, he showed exceptional presence of mind on that day. If all or any of the above thesis is correct, his performance has still been exceptional. Either way, I wish him the best of luck.

  • michael norton

    Let us look at co-incidence

    The man who it is said, stumbled across the Slaughter of the Horses was an eX-RAF type,
    living in Lathuile within spitting distance of Mr.& Mrs. Communal-Tornier, he still owns his house and spends time there and even if he was not widely known in the area before the massacre,
    he was, afterwards. Bluebird has said that Jean-Paul Communal-Tournier was related to the family Mollier.
    The apparent leader of the murder of Nicole Communal-Tournier lives a spit away in Doussard.
    The sketch of the motorcyclist was with-held for 14 months,
    yet a week after its release, Nicole Communal-Tournier is shot and killed in her home.
    Then an eX-Policeman, living in Lathuile is arrested, suspected of being involved in possibly the Slaughter of the Horses, maybe the shooting of Nicole.

    If the “carpenter” from Doussard was the lead antagonist in the C-T incident, it is inconceivable he did not know as much as the other locals, the place would have been crawling with the authorities, yet we are expected to think that this man, recruited young thugs to help him rob the C-T family, yards from the home of W.B.M. who would have likely been under surveillance, days after the “sketch” of the motorcyclist was released.
    He would have to have been mad to try to pull such a thing off, so close to home where he is known.

    No, this was an attempt to shut the Communal-Tourniers up.

    Has anyone “Twigged” (joke) that campsites have a commonality in these stories, they are places where anyone can come to meet / stay without suspicion.

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