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Alps probe man won't be charged

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Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud is investigating the killing of a British family and a French cyclist (AP)

Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud is investigating the killing of a British family and a French cyclist (AP)

Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud is investigating the killing of a British family and a French cyclist (AP)

A French former police officer held in the investigation of the macabre killings of three members of an Iraqi-British family and a passing cyclist in the Alps will not be charged in the case.

Prosecutor Eric Maillaud of eastern Annecy said in a text message today that the 48-year-old former officer and weapons buff and a friend who was also taken into custody would be held temporarily on separate suspicions of weapons trafficking.

The men were detained this week in a probe of the September 2012 slayings of businessman Saad al-Hilli, his wife, her mother and a French cyclist - the first arrests in the case in France.

The unsolved case has thwarted investigators and gained wide publicity in Britain and France.

AP