Tuesday, 27 October 2015

The Chevaline Massacre, One Year On – by Tim Veater

The Chevaline Massacre, One Year On – by Tim Veater
More than a year has now passed since the shocking murders of four people at a remote lay-by, four Kilometres south of Chevaline in Haute-Savoie region of South East France.
On or about 3.30 pm on 5th September 2012, Saad al Hilli (50), his wife Iqbal (IAH) (47), their two daughters Zainab (7) and Zeena (4) from Claygate, Surrey, and Iqbal’s mother Suhaila al Allaf (74) a Swedish National, on holiday by Lake Annecy, were ambushed by one gunman or more, in a lonely mountain car park . Only the children survived the attack with varying degrees of injury. A French cyclist Sylvain Mollier (SM) (45) was also shot dead at the scene.
In the news-media-saturated world in which we find ourselves, violent deaths attract attention. This incident has attracted more than most, and still will not go away. A combination of factors made this inevitable: the stark contrast between the idyllic setting and the brutality of the event; the unexpected nature of it; the contrast between care-free holiday makers, and a merciless killer; the death of parents leaving children as orphans and their “miraculous”survival; the multiple and callous nature of the crime.
However, elements of coincidence, police blunder, high level political involvement, conflicting reports, misinformation and apparent confusion and lack of progress have added further intrigue, leading to suggestions of possible “industrial espionage” and even state involvement. In a sense, to the makings of a Poirot mystery, was added a John le Carré or Frederick Forsyth thriller. This is not wholly fanciful, as at least three individuals, either witnesses or leaders of the investigation, made specific reference to the murder scene being akin to a Hollywood production.
“Philippe Didierjean” who was not revealed for a full five days and rather remarkably much later became “Philippe Bossy”, said in an interview with Parisien magazine, “It was like one of those television shows that start with a murder but this time the actors were us and we didn’t have a remote control to change the channel.”William Brett Martin, the “RAF Pilot” said “If you’ve seen CSI Miami it was pretty much what you would imagine the set from CSI Miami would be like.”Even the French Prosecutor Eric Maillaud used the Hollywood analogy. Some might think that these assessments of American movie- making, may have been more literal than allegorical.
The circumstances of the crime scene that led them to describe it thus, was a BMW Estate car reversed into a bank, with its diesel engine revving wildly and at least one rear wheel spinning in reverse gear.
Inside, were discovered by a cyclist, three people, all shot in the head. These were Mr al Hilli, his wife and mother-in-law. Outside the car there were two recumbent bodies – a mature man in cycling gear and a little girl of seven years – the former shot dead the latter injured and unconscious.
The Al Hilli family, originally from war-torn Iraq, had settled in Britain in the early 1970?s. There were strange elements to the trip: reports from neighbours of nervousness; new locks on the family home at 26 Oaken Lane, Claygate, Surrey; not informing the local school and taking the trip just when the children should have been returning; changing the Village Europa camp site, St Jorioz almost immediately upon arrival having booked to stay for a week; reports of frequent departures from the second site by SAH and meeting swarthy well dressed individuals; a trip to a Geneva bank, where £800,000 was allegedly deposited from Saddam Hussein in his father’s estate; the unlikelihood of the Martinet car park for a trip, particularly as there was no indication of intention to walk or picnic.
This was not all. It transpired that both SAH’s father and uncle had fared badly under the regime of Saddam Hussein and had been tortured and expelled by him in the early 1970?s. SAH himself was a qualified engineer with a background in nuclear physics, aircraft design and satellites and currently had links to both British and European defence industries. The Frenchman, Silvain Mollier, also shot at the scene, had worked for Cezus, part of the French Ariva Group, specializing in titanium metal technology for the nuclear industry with international links to Iran and Middle East. The British man who first came upon the murders, had a background as fighter pilot for the RAF and subsequent specialist advisory work in military and civil aircraft for Boeing and others.
But perhaps the most suspicious element of the case was the nature of the crime itself and the way it has been handled by the investigating authorities. This was no accident; no spontaneous or chance encounter; no unfortunate, stumbling upon a crime scene, as the French Prosecutor tried to persuade us. It had all the hall-marks of a well-planned, military-style operation, carried out with precision, deadly accuracy and absence of mercy, except as regards the children who survived, surely not by accident?
All the victims it transpired, were shot at least twice in the head –the so-called “double tap”. The Frenchman SM was shot up to seven times in total. SAH was also shot in the back, as presumably he tried to escape by rushing to the driver’s seat in his BMW 520 tourer estate. Further, despite the three kilometre access road, down which the killers would almost certainly have fled (before reaching a bifurcation in the road) they must have been confident enough of escape to be undeterred by the remote location. The fact that they did so, effectively without detection either then or later, suggests either incredible luck, police incompetence or official assistance.
Indeed it is the response of particularly the French Prosecutor, Eric Maillaud (EM) that is most troublesome. On the face of it he appears a genuine and conscientious fellow but this is hard to reconcile with the way the case has been handled.
From the beginning he almost exclusively acted as spokesperson for the French side of the investigation, yet later claiming he was not in active charge of it. Latterly this has been confirmed. Apparently Colonel Benoit Vinnemann is leading the investigative team of about forty officers but EM will remain as spokesperson. Another team of about forty detectives is working on the British side. Both have had access to the most extensive and elite scientific resources. Despite this they report little progress after a year which is hardly credible.
So a year and a day following the killings (6th September, 2013) a press conference was convened in Annecy to report progress. Five individuals represented the French and British investigators: Annecy Prosecutor, Eric Maillaud; Col B Vinnemann; Captain Moulié;Detective Superintendent Nick May; and Detective Chief Inspector Mark Preston of Surrey/Sussex Police.
Prior to the event, D S Nick May said: “The tragic events of a year ago left four people dead in appalling circumstances. We remain committed to finding answers to what happened that day on behalf of their families, particularly for the two young girls who lost their parents. This remains a complex enquiry and we continue to have a team of officers dedicated to supporting the investigation.”
However, nothing new was revealed on the 6th September, 2013, other than vague theories and accusations directed at Zaid AH. This despite EM warning against such! He said “This affair is very complex and international. What we need is proof and not scenarios or hypotheses. We need something that will stand up before a jury.”
If this was an opportunity to reassure the public of a genuine, thorough and competent investigation, it was an opportunity missed. Even a detailed report of the press conference itself is impossible to find. If searching questions were posed, we cannot discover them. They have not been reported.
Is it not amazing that this press conference did not provide a full description of the FACTS currently established, including visuals of the lay-by, identifying precisely where the people and vehicles were located; the results of the forensics and ballistics, particularly where shell casings and lead shot were found and mapped and what injuries were identified; the vehicles identified by witnesses and their part in the events; and many other specific points such as how many, in what sequence, were there witnesses to the scene before the police arrived?
None of this information could conceivably prejudice subsequent proceedings and it would be easy to retain any specifics known only by the killers. None of the serious questions raised by me and others were answered.
And another weird fact. Even at this late stage in unsolved crimes, the police invariably are anxious to seek public help. Uniquely not in this case. Not one request for one iota of information! And still not even a photograph of three of the four of the victims and no explanation for this either!
I can find no report of the questions asked at the “press conference”. Were there any? Can anyone else find them? Yet more convincing evidence this not just an ordinary crime or investigation to which the press itself appears compliant.
What was reported however, was the scope of the investigation running apparently, in the words of the French Prosecutor, to “cubic metres”! The British side had carried out 2,000 “actions” including several trips to France, taken 560 statements, seized 5500 documents, 1600 exhibits and had compiled 1,300 reports. Zaid al-Hilli, 54 (Saad’s older brother) had been detained in June on suspicion of conspiracy to murder and re-bailed until October 23“pending further enquiries”. The French side had interviewed about 800 witnesses and taken 3,000 statements. The inquiry had led to 80 international demands for police assistance in 20 countries and been officially extended for another year. To date there has been no convincing explanation for the nature and extent (including Bomb Squad) of the search of the victim’s house nor why his brother and children should still require armed police protection.
As to anything new or informative, this was in short supply. The finger was pointed firmly in the direction of the arrested brother Zaid, whilst earlier stressing that that there was nothing to implicate him in the murders! Arrested but not charged after twelve months of intensive investigation? Twice bailed and allowed freedom of movement? This for a supposed dastardly killer of brother and in-laws? Oh please!
For the first time, the suggestion of industrial espionage and even state involvement was mooted but definitely not developed. “If you are talking about foreign states and industrial espionage, you could also be talking about secret service involvement,” Mr Maillaud said.
Col Vinnemann, who leads the French investigation, described Saad as having “an obsession” with Zaid appropriating his father’s estate and the “suspicion, hatred and the depth of the conflict between the two brothers”. Maillaud has described the disagreement as“violent” and determined this the sole reason for Saad changing his house locks before he left.
The weapon was confirmed as “a pre-war Swiss-made Luger P06 7.65mm Parabellum, fired 21 times, including twice into the heads of the three members of the Hilli family and five times into the cyclist, Syvain Mollier. The killer shot from outside the vehicle, a maroon-coloured BMW estate, shattering the windows, but without scratching the bodywork. In all, 17 of the shots hit a human target. With each gun magazine carrying eight bullets, the assassin would have had to reload the weapon at least twice”.
He added, “I would not use the term professional gunman … but he was certainly what I would call a hardened gunman, experienced in situations of stress,” Maillaud said. “All we know is that there was one killer and he knew what he was doing: he was able to hit a moving target and change magazines, but we have no idea of his exact profile”.
He dismissed newspaper reports that the victims were gunned down by a hit-man from the former Yugoslavia as “pure speculation” and said the idea of a “lone wolf” killer or that the Hilli’s had stumbled across a drug or arms deal as “still being investigated, but lower down the list of hypotheses”.
What was notable by it’s absence however was any attempt to explain mistakes or clarify still unresolved unanswered questions. For example why did Eric Maillaud provide false information regarding the initial 3.48 telephone call? It wasn’t made by WB Martin as he claimed, neither can his subsequent changed account that it was made by Philippe “Didierjean” be made to fit the time line. Similarly, why did he lie about the latter’s name, if the later Swiss report that it was in fact “Bossy”, is correct?
Why no clarification or explanation relating to the early reports about a 4×4 and motor bike? At first EM reported WBM had given a “detailed account” about the vehicles. Later WBM claimed he could remember very little detail. EM then announced this was in fact a Forestry Department vehicle without explaining how this could pass WBM both up and down the road, why inexplicably, it took so long to identify it or why, its occupants could add nothing useful to the investigation despite passing the murder scene at precisely the critical time. Then after throwing buckets of water on the 4×4 earlier sought variously described as a Mitsubishi Pajero or Peugeot varying in colour from black to white, nearly seven months later the British police put out an appeal for a “dark coloured BMW X5”! Yet at the press conference no explanation is given for this apparent confusion or any results from the appeals. This is quite extraordinary.
Nor is there any clarification as to why the French police proposed a quite irrational interpretation of the tyre marks so clearly left in the car park. These were said to been created by SAH’s car when this was clearly impossible, both by virtue of geometry and sequence of events. It would have required SAH to get back to the opposite side of his car whilst under fire and injured by bullets and carry out a complicated manoeuvre, all within a 30 second time frame determined by the sound of pistol fire. Nor can the theory of SAH striking SM be consistent with the vehicle actually reversing in a limited straight line that must have happened. It is hard to find any justification for these fundamental flaws without concluding either incompetence or intentional misleading. Was it to remove the necessity of an additional vehicle and to support the preferred option of a “lone killer” so assiduously pushed for so long but now apparently abandoned?
Then we have the mystery of the weapon used, the bullets fired and the injuries caused. How in such a high profile case with the best scientific facilities could there have been such utter confusion? First fifteen bullets were fired, quickly increased to twenty-five but now remarkably reduced to twenty-one whilst a recent BBC report speaks of “dozens”! We have been told the firing was random by an amateur or madman. Now we are told it was targeted and precise with seventeen hitting human targets and no damage to the vehicle even when they were all moving. (So what are the obvious “pings” on the front windscreen and the holes in the door glass?) EM at first declared three out of four had been shot in the head which he later corrected to all and Sylvain Mollier said to have been shot up to seven times. Now it is five. But if five this would mean the three victims in the car were shot at least twelve times. What four times each or some other permutation?
All the bullet casing were apparently found in or around the vehicle. This flatly contradicts the French version of events that the shooting started at the other end of the car park. If the early visuals are to be believed, presumably based as they were on police information, and all the casings ended up next to the off side rear wheel, it is impossible to reconcile this with a Luger PO6 which ejects up and to the right of the shooter.
None of this adds up. However this does not stop EM being certain the gun was an old Luger and that at least two changes of magazine, eight in each, were required. This explanation certainly presents difficulties. The user would certainly have to be skilled and prepared. The magazines would have had to be readily accessible on his person and the continuous nature of the shooting in a 30 second time-frame does not support any delay or fumbling.
Not only were three magazines located and loaded without interruption but the killer also removed and stored them on his person or picked them up before leaving! Is this likely? It would be interesting to stage a re-enactment to see if the official interpretation is even achievable let alone choosing an obsolete weapon for such a high-profile killing, when so many better more effective weapons are available.
EM strenuously held to the view that SM, the French cyclist, was uninvolved, was not an intentional target and no meeting took place, yet the blood stains proved otherwise. Nor did his injuries support the idea that he was either shot when riding his bike or dragged along the ground in any way. WBM reported he was free of grazes. I suggest if he did have an impact injury, much more likely it was caused by the killer’s vehicle.
As far as the time line relating to victims, killer(s) and witnesses is concerned, this too has been subject to much variation from official sources. Surely after a year this issue must have been decided? Why is it not possible to supply this information to the public? Even at this late stage, we are still not sure who were the witnesses to the scene. Did the two female companions of Philippe Didierjean/Bossy actually stay away? Who is the recently admitted third male cyclist/witness? Why did the statements of PD/B and WBM differ in important respects? Why did the former assume the latter was responsible and attempt to punch him? Why did the French know and announce WBM as a ex-RAF pilot and hero, and allow him to leave the country immediately following, despite being the most important witness and chief suspect until being incontrovertibly cleared of suspicion? And what of the white Peugeot 205/305 seen leaving the area at high speed? EM has said it has been eliminated but surely an explanation was called for?
But perhaps one of the most sinister and intriguing aspects of the case still never officially discussed, are the many strange co-incidences of time and place.
Why was this remote location chosen, four miles south of the French township of Chevaline with all its etymological connections with the secret up-grading with multiple warheads of the British Polaris missile in the 1970?s? “Chevaline” also has the meaning of “Horse Slaughter”. In the “trade”, spies are sometimes referred to as “horses”. Then we have connotations with the classical “Trojan Horse”, which in more recent times has been applied to cyber espionage, most notably in the case of the very successful joint CIA/Mossad infiltration and sabotage of the Iranian Nuclear programme.
Annecy happens to be twinned with Cheltenham where of course GCHQ is located. Geneva, the European base of the UN, was always regarded as a meeting place for East and West and a favourite place for covert interplay. It was also the location of Saadam Hussein’s notorious half brother for a decade from 1989, which according to Wikipedia was “believed to have managed clandestine accounts for the Iraqi president’s overseas fortune. This task was then taken over by a network of foreign brokers, since Hussein had decided that no one in Iraq could be trusted with this task.”
The location of the murders was at a place called “Martinet” in the “Combe d’Ire”. At it’s entrance there is even a warning in three languages that this is a “dead end”. At Martinet itself there is an information sign regarding the protected Bauges region in which there are wolves. Wolves and “being thrown to them” is a well known saying as is the notion in assassination parlance of “lone wolves” specifically ruled out by Eric Maillaud now apparently. “Martinet” is a smaller version of the Swallow family. “Bird watcher” is Slang used by British Intelligence for a spy. “Swallow, a term applied to a female agent employed to seduce people for intelligence purposes”. Martinet was also historically a French instrument of torture. As to Combe d’Ire – in English “Ire”, incidentally coming from ancient French, meaning “intense anger or wrath.” The route is dominated by the “Mountain of Coal”. Yes black as coal.
Now get this the event takes place forty years to the day of the Munich Massacre, when eleven members of the Israel Olympic team were killed by “Black September” activists on 5th September, 1972. (It also happened to be the 34th Anniversary of the start of the 1978 Camp David Peace Accords between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat at Camp David,Maryland opposed by many on both sides) Subsequently on the direct orders of the then Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir “Operation Wrath of God” was launched to kill all those associated with it. We know it lasted twenty years with many victims but did it last longer? Is the Chevaline killings in the “Valley of Wrath”, the remnants of a continuing programme of assassination (most recently that of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh in Dubai and subsequently the “suicide” cover-up of Ben Zygier in Jerusalem in 2010) that demonstrates there has been no change in Israeli policy?
The more we know of the Al Hilli, Al Saffar and Al Allaf clans (so expertly unravelled in part by one “Blue Bird” on the Craig Murray web site) and their multitudinous connections with high Middle East politics, opposition to Israeli hegemony including Hezbollah and Western, specifically United States and British, Intelligence going back over generations, the more likely this explanation would seem. Nor is the Mollier family free of extreme left wing nationalistic political connections that have been largely ignored by the press, with EM determined to keep them out of the spotlight.
As to the forty year anniversary of the attack, there are few more coincidences worthy of note. Forty is a significant number sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews but particularly the latter. There are many references in both Old (Moses obtaining the ten commandments etc) and New (Jesus was forty days and forty nights in the wilderness) Testaments and the Holy Koran. So not only is it an exact anniversary of a defining event that lead directly to a policy of State Assassination, it could hardly be more redolent with a multiplicity of meaning.
It is thought that religions adopted forty as significant from prior astronomical observation in Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Egyptian civilizations. The planet Venus forms a pentagram in the night sky every eight years with it returning to its original point every 40 years with a 40 day regression. The pentagram connection is reinforced by its mathematical descriptors: “Forty is an octagonal number, and as the sum of the first four pentagonal numbers, it is a pentagonal pyramidal number. Adding up some subsets of its divisors (e.g., 1, 4, 5, 10 and 20) gives 40, hence 40 is a semi-perfect number”. We need not look further than the American Dollar and defence establishment to see the significance of the pentagram.
Further, it happened just before the Jewish New Year, which this year happened to fall precisely on September 5th. It is called “Rosh Hashanah”. It is the first of the High Holy Days or Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”) which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. (Do I remember a particular military operation labelled “Shock and Awe”?) On the day the “shofar” – a ram’s horn – is blown which acclaims God as ruler of the universe and recalls the divine revelation at Sinai, where God made Israel his people and gave them the terms of his Covenant. It is also customary for many to recite penitential prayers at a river, symbolically casting their sins into the river in a ceremony called tashlikh.
In the Talmud tractate on Rosh Hashanah, it states that three books of account are opened on Rosh Hashanah, wherein the fate of the wicked, the righteous, and those of an intermediate class are recorded. The names of the righteous are immediately inscribed in the book of life, and they are sealed “to live.” The intermediate class are allowed a respite of ten days, until Yom Kippur, to reflect, repent and become righteous; the wicked are “blotted out of the book of the living forever.” In terms of the Gregorian calendar, the earliest date on which Rosh Hashanah can fall is September 5. The last time this happened was in 1899 which is remembered in Jewish circles for the famous Mark Twain article in the New York Harpers Magazine in which he said the following:
“The Egyptians, the Babylonians, and the Persians rose, filled the planet
with sound and splendor, and faded to dream stuff and passed away. The
Greeks and the Romans followed and made a vast noise and they are gone.
Other peoples have sprung up and held their torch high for a time. But it burned out, and they sit in twilight now, or have vanished. The Jew saw them all. Beat them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert and aggressive mind.” It could hardly be more apposite today.
Finally, in another rather extraordinarily coincidental twist, forty is the atomic number of Zirconium the significance of which will not be lost on those who have followed this story. Used in the nuclear, space and aeronautic industries, SM and Cezus had specialist knowledge of its production and applications.
Are these idiomatic and chronological correlations, coincidental or causal? Are they significant to the planning and execution of this unique killing, full of anomalies, or purely random associations? Who can tell but they certainly raise the question.
So to sum up, the press conference on the 6th September 2013 appears to have presented no new information; answered none of the disturbing questions relating to the events and police response; suggested any convincing explanation of the brutal event nor sought any help from the public. As such it did nothing to counter suggestions of intrigue and cover-up and yet again the press appears to have failed to obtain answers.
The more cynical might describe it as being “more heat than light” – a public relations exercise in “plausible deniability” so favoured by intelligence agencies, east and west. Whoever was responsible, the French investigation in particular, has given the strong impression of adding to the confusion surrounding it.
“We have made great advances” in the investigation, said Eric Maillaud. If so, the press conference on the 6th September, 2013, gave no indication of them. END

Chevaline Massacre – Tim Veater

The Al Hilli/Mollier meeting at Chevaline and why the official explanations make
no sense – by Tim Veater.

The reason for the meeting between Saad Al Hilli(SAH) and Sylvain Mollier (SM)
at Chevaline has always puzzled. The opinion of the French Prosecutor, Eric
Maillaud (EM), that no meeting took place – in fact that there was no possible
connection between the two – is hard to explain because it is so contrary to
normal police practice of keeping all lines of enquiry open until they are are
positively closed. For this reason it deserves independent examination.

In a way it is the corollary, in reverse, of EM’s certainty as to the heroic,
unimpeachable involvement of William Brett Martin, the British man who came on
the scene only minutes after the shooting. Both reactions appear
counter-intuitive and un-typical of usual police approach.

To this must be added the total absence of any background on SM or even the
publication of a photograph.

Reservations are reinforced by further official statements that can be shown to
be contradictory or conflicting with other evidence in the public domain.

For example even when the ballistics and forensics proved SAH and SM were
physically close at the time of the shooting because of blood contamination on
both parties – presumably because they were conversing – EM disagreed.

All the early media reports, presumably on the back of police briefing, placing
SM’s body to the front off-side (RHS viewed from the driver’s seat) of the car.
Yet this absolutely conflicts with the evident blood stained ground on the OTHER
side of the car – blood that could ONLY have come from Mollier.

If he was lying on the RHS of the car, it must mean he was moved there after he
stopped bleeding. (WBM admits to this but why has never been satisfactorily

Why did the police allow this error to be published and if done in error, not
correct it at the first opportunity?

Similarly they allowed the suggestion that his bike lay next to him to be the
accepted one, when in fact it emerged from later aerial photographs that the
bike was propped against the road at the OTHER END of the car park.

Of course the reconstruction based on these two conflicting situations are quite
different. The first suggests he got no further that the start of the lay-by
when first shot and fell next to his bike, whereas the second, probably true
inference was that he rode to the other end and got off normally, walked to the
Al Hillis outside their car, before any hint of an attack took place.

EM “was sure” SM was just an unlucky interloper, killed for being a witness and
arriving after the main attack on the the Al Hillis. Clearly this interpretation
cannot withstand the forensic evidence. Mollier we are told, was shot first and
last and most often.
This must mean he arrived before the shooting started not as was stated came
upon it after the Al Hilli’s had been killed.

Then we have the official statement that Mollier was struck and dragged by Al
Hilli’s vehicle in the process of a quite impossible reverse manoeuvre.

Not only is this not borne out by WBM’s testimony of an un-grazed body but it in
no way makes sense given the location of the BMW and where Mollier obviously lay
after being shot.

We need to pose the question why the French authorities would promote or not
correct so many important disinformations?

It cannot be explained in terms of incompetence. The only rational explanation
is that it was essential to someone in a position of influence in the French
State to distance Mollier from any suggestion of involvement with the Al Hilli’s
and the murders to prevent any suggestion of involvement, either as assailant or
target. We can only speculate why this might be.

EM promoted the unlikely suggestion that SM was “lost” when it is clear that
the trip and destination were purposeful, to meet the Al Hilli’s and possibly
others. We do not know whether he was doing so at the direction of British or
French (or some other entity) or was known by them.

It is the promotion of irrational explanations by the French Authorities that
certainly suggests something shady on the French side. The fact that the at
the recent press conference, the opportunity to correct or explain these and
other incongruities, tends to reinforce this view.

We can be pretty sure there was a meeting. We have absolutely no idea what it
was about. However there are the well known confluences.

Both SAH and SM had significant specialist skills in their respective areas of
expertise. Both on a personal level, had recently lost fathers and had issues
around families and estate. Both had unexplained anomalous employment
situations. Both had political backgrounds and held fairly strident views
regarding particularly Zionism.

Both were on a search for/in need of, money. Both had links with nuclear and
defence industries. There may even be points of commonality as regards the
revelations elsewhere of French neo-Nazi, French Union and Saddam Hussein links.
Official secrecy appears to surround both of them.

Beyond this we may assume they would not have been natural bed-fellows. Was SM
fluent in English or SAH in French? Might SM resent foreigners in his homeland,
particularly wealthy, capitalist, Iraqi ones? If a meeting took place, who chose
the location, who invited whom? Was it initiated by SAH, SM or a third party? If
a third party, was this in fact the killers or some other?

Whatever we make of the above, we may conclude with some certainty that organs
within the French State considered it sufficiently important to distance Mollier
from events at Chevaline and that it was prepared to allow known
misinterpretations regarding the scene and what took place there, to be promoted
by the media. By and large, it has made no attempt to explain or correct them!
Nor for that matter has the British team.

In a world of tragedy and violence, the events of Chevaline, will with time,
become ever more distant and remote. However the event is compounded by
questions of cause and the genuineness of the criminal investigation. These
raise far wider issues that demand answers. END

Panorama 21.10.13 “Murder in the Alps” – Tim Veater

Message Body:
Panorama 21.10.13. “Murder in the Alps” – the Chevaline Killings. Tim Veater.

On the 21.10.13 BBC broadcast an hour long Panorama programme on the Chevaline

It can be viewed here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03fgstr/Panorama_Murder_in_the_Alps/

It concentrates on the alleged dispute over property between Saad al Hilli and
his brother Zaid. In this, the latter denies any involvement in the murders and
instead points the accusatory finger at the French, who he claims, know who
carried out the crime and are involved in a cover up. For his part the Annecy
Prosecutor rather confusingly states Zaid is the only suspect but that no court
in France or Britain could find him guilty.

New insight was limited, despite Zaid and a Forestry Employee being interviewed
for the first time and Brett Martin for the first time since his original
BBC/SKY one. Unfortunately these added further confusion rather than clearing up
unanswered questions.

Now WBM says he caught up with SM at Chevaline and thought it strange he was
riding a racing bike on such an unsuitable route. This would mean he was going
faster than Mollier yet later he is ahead of Martin without reportedly passing

Now for the first time Martin claims the Al Hillis pass him and Mollier up the
Combe. He just drops this casually into his account despite its significance.
You will note this is a complete departure from his original story in which a
green 4X4 passed him both up and down.

Clearly the trained pilot could not have confused a red BMW estate car with a
green 4×4, nor has he ever mentioned before the Al Hillis passed him. The
programme in typical fashion, did not challenge this fundamental change in his
story. Now only a motor bike passed him very carefully the 4×4 conveniently
disappearing from the account.

The Forestry employee who remained anonymous, stated he drove down at the
critical time yet refers not at all to either the Al Hillis or the two cyclists
coming up. He says that as he passed the lay-by he noticed a motor cyclist on
his machine parked up on his left hand side. It was suggested this was the lone
killer waiting for the victims to arrive.

Then he adds that on the way down a grey British RHD BMW X5 passed him going up,
driven by a dark skinned man.

This raises further problems as this vehicle must have passed WBM although he
does not mention it. Also, unless it continued over the mountain pass it would
have to have returned but again now no mention of it doing so from WBM.

The forestry man also adds that two of his colleagues had met the motor cyclist
further up the dog leg that coincidentally had in early newspaper reports been
inaccurately identified as the murder site! He said they stopped him and made
him return down the way he came presumably following him in their truck. He says
they saw his face and that he had a small beard. Presumably, and implausibly,
they didn’t record the registration number.

So the first obvious question that was not posed was why were these details not
immediately circulated with appropriate photo-fits as part of a general appeal?
There can be no rational explanation for this. This programme proves that
descriptions of primary suspects were for some reason withheld.

The second question would be, if as they are claiming, this was the single
killer intercepted and sent back down the hill following the killing, not only
would he have to have passed WBM now at the the murder scene, but the forestry
employees would also have been the first to come upon it. Neither of these
events have been claimed.

Or are they claiming this meeting was on a different day?

In addition, if there was only one motor bike killer, what was the role of the
now claimed BMW X5? The programme does nothing to clear up any of these
outstanding important inconsistencies.

Then the programme slavishly repeats the French interpretation of the killing
events completely without analysis or challenge, despite it conflicting with
what has been reported.

It claims the car was parked nose in at the top of the lay-by (next to the
signage) and that the motor cyclist approached from beyond, firing at the two Al
Hillis and the approaching Mollier. This simply does not fit. Even a school
child could see it, yet a team of professional journalists working for the BBC

If the shooting took place at that end, the spent cartridges would be recovered
there. But we have been told all the cartridges were found around, in or under
the car at the BOTTOM end where it came to rest. So one or the other stories
MUST be a lie perpetuated by the French. The lie is confirmed by the
impossibility of the manoeuvre, given the fact that Al Hilli had already been
shot before, it is claimed, carrying out a complicated impossible reverse turn.

In addition there was a fundamental contradiction between the claim that SM was
shot at the top of the lay-by, yet was found by WBM in front of the parked car
where it ended up. Nor is WBM’s actual reconstruction of what he did fit with
blood stains. There are no blood stains in front of the car, they are all to the

So yet again a mainstream television programme fails to grasp the nettle. This
is not investigative journalism, it is a conduit for agreed, approved
story-telling, not to provide clarity and answers. Rather to leave the
impression that the French best line of investigation is quite hopeless. Sure
they have managed to uncover animosity and dispute between the two brothers but
this falls far short of a murder plot. On the other hand for the first time a
specific allegation of collusion and cover up is levelled at the French.

If any element of the story was consistent or believable it would help. The
Panorama programme merely adds more confusing layers to the conundrum.END

The Curious Case of Dickory Cronke by Tim Veater.

The Curious Case of the Dumb Cornishman, Dickory Cronke (and his forty
suggestions for a contented life) – Tim Veater.

Most people are familiar with Robinson Crusoe and the author of the book by that
name – Daniel Defoe – who lived in London from c. 1661 to 1731. A prolific
writer of tracts and stories – yet most people would probably be hard pressed to
name any other works by him. Some regard him as the first true journalist and
novelist in the English language, when to be so, was perhaps even more fraught
and risky than it is today. He was also a Government spy!

Although mixing with monarchs, he also ended up in the stocks and prison, as a
result of political intrigue and his satirical works. He was a prolific and
versatile writer of more than five hundred books, pamphlets, and journals on
various topics including politics, crime, religion, marriage, psychology, the
supernatural and the economy. In contrast to the best selling moral tale of
Robinson Crusoe, who he placed almost alone on a far-off island for twenty eight
years, the racy – many thought quite scandalous – tale of Moll Flanders, was the
even more popular!

Somewhere between the two, he created and published the now little known short
story entitled “Dickory Cronke: The Dumb Philosopher, or, Great Britain’s
Wonder”. It is about a boy born dumb to a poor Cornish tinner, living not far
from the port of Padstow, who by dint of effort and the protection of kindly
employers in Wales and Bath, was after many years able to return to his sister
with modest savings to support them both.

Whilst away, despite his disability, he achieved a repution for honesty,
faithfulness and application, to such an extent he was regarded by many as a
silent though not insignificant, wise man or self-taught moral philosopher even.

On his return to Cornwall, when out walking he suffered an “apolexy”, which
today would probably be diagnosed as a stroke or some such. A search being
organised, he was eventually discovered unconscious, under a tree where he fell,
and carried home to his bed. However when he recovered, a most remarkable thing
had happened – he discovered for the very first time in his whole life he was
able to SPEAK!

As you might expect, this was as great a shock to his sister and friends as it
was to him. Yet even in the midst of his delight, he was aware that his time was

Not wishing to waste a moment of it, he set to sorting his papers and estate,
burning many items he thought unworthy or superfluous. He left the library he
had amassed to a friend of the Welsh gentleman who had cared for him, and the
rest to his sisters and to charity. His final energies he gave over to recording
what lessons he had learned from life’s experience. These he tabulated in forty
“Meditations and Observations relating to the Conduct of Human Life in General”
that are attached below. Some might think they are not without their usefulness
and application today, when scarcely an institution, creed or nature itself
retains our confidence and all is flux in human affairs.

So in summary we may say the Forty – yes Forty! – “Meditations and Observations”
encapsulate the wise words of a poor Christian Cornishman, who despite being
dumb all his life, at the age of fifty eight, miraculously rediscovered his
voice – to the benefit of all – before death intervened.

We do not know whether “Dickory Cronke” was real or imagined, or perhaps
contained elements of both, or if he was merely a conduit for the aging and
ailing Daniel Defoe to record his own philosophy. I shall have to leave it to
you the reader, to decide whether in today’s world, a eighteenth century
approach might benefit us?

“Meditations and Observations relating to the Conduct of Human Life in General”
– by Dickory Cronke (aka Daniel Defoe)

“1. Remember how often you have neglected the great duties of religion
and virtue, and slighted the opportunities that Providence has put into
your hands; and, withal, that you have a set period assigned you for the
management of the affairs of human life; and then reflect seriously that,
unless you resolve immediately to improve the little remains, the whole
must necessarily slip away insensibly, and then you are lost beyond

“2. Let an unaffected gravity, freedom, justice, and sincerity shine
through all your actions, and let no fancies and chimeras give the least
check to those excellent qualities. This is an easy task, if you will
but suppose everything you do to be your last, and if you can keep your
passions and appetites from crossing your reason. Stand clear of
rashness, and have nothing of insincerity or self-love to infect you.
“3. Manage all your thoughts and actions with such prudence andcircumspection
as if you were sensible you were just going to step intothe grave. A little
thinking will show a man the vanity and uncertaintyof all sublunary things, and
enable him to examine maturely the manner ofdying; which, if duly abstracted
from the terror of the idea, will appearnothing more than an unavoidable
appendix of life itself, and a purenatural action.
“4. Consider that ill-usage from some sort of people is in a manner
necessary, and therefore do not be disquieted about it, but rather
conclude that you and your enemy are both marching off the stage
together, and that in a little time your very memories will be

“5. Among your principal observations upon human life, let it be always
one to take notice what a great deal both of time and ease that man gains
who is not troubled with the spirit of curiosity, who lets his
neighbours’ affairs alone, and confines his inspections to himself, and
only takes care of honesty and a good conscience.

“6. If you would live at your ease, and as much as possible be free from
the incumbrances of life, manage but a few things at once, and let those,
too, be such as are absolutely necessary. By this rule you will draw the
bulk of your business into a narrow compass, and have the double pleasure
of making your actions good, and few into the bargain.

“7. He that torments himself because things do not happen just as he
would have them, is but a sort of ulcer in the world; and he that is
selfish, narrow-souled, and sets up for a separate interest, is a kind of
voluntary outlaw, and disincorporates himself from mankind.

“8. Never think anything below you which reason and your own
circumstances require, and never suffer yourself to be deterred by the
ill-grounded notions of censure and reproach; but when honesty and
conscience prompt you to say or do anything, do it boldly; never balk
your resolution or start at the consequence.

“9. If a man does me an injury, what is that to me? It is his own
action, and let him account for it. As for me, I am in my proper
station, and only doing the business that Providence has allotted; and
withal, I ought to consider that the best way to revenge, is not to
imitate the injury.

“10. When you happen to be ruffled and put out of humour by any cross
accident, retire immediately into your reason, and do not suffer your
passion to overrule you a moment; for the sooner you recover yourself
now, the better you will be able to guard yourself for the future.

“11. Do not be like those ill-natured people that, though they do not
love to give a good word to their contemporaries, yet are mighty fond of
their own commendations. This argues a perverse and unjust temper, and
often exposes the authors to scorn and contempt.
“12. If any one convinces you of an error, change your opinion and thankhim for
it: truth and information are your business, and can never hurtanybody. On the
contrary, he that is proud and stubborn, and wilfullycontinues in a mistake, it
is he that receives the mischief.
“13. Because you see a thing difficult, do not instantly conclude it to
be impossible to master it. Diligence and industry are seldom defeated.
Look, therefore, narrowly into the thing itself, and what you observe
proper and practicable in another, conclude likewise within your own

“14. The principal business of human life is run through within the short
compass of twenty-four hours; and when you have taken a deliberate view
of the present age, you have seen as much as if you had begun with the
world, the rest being nothing else but an endless round of the same thing
over and over again.

“15. Bring your will to your fate, and suit your mind to your
circumstances. Love your friends and forgive your enemies, and do
justice to all mankind, and you will be secure to make your passage easy,
and enjoy most of the comforts human life is capable to afford you.

“16. When you have a mind to entertain yourself in your retirements, let
it be with the good qualifications of your friends and acquaintance.
Think with pleasure and satisfaction upon the honour and bravery of one,
the modesty of another, the generosity of a third, and so on; there being
nothing more pleasant and diverting than the lively images and the
advantages of those we love and converse with.

“17. As nothing can deprive you of the privileges of your nature, or
compel you to act counter to your reason, so nothing can happen to you
but what comes from Providence, and consists with the interest of the

“18. Let people’s tongues and actions be what they will, your business is
to have honour and honesty in your view. Let them rail, revile, censure,
and condemn, or make you the subject of their scorn and ridicule, what
does it all signify? You have one certain remedy against all their
malice and folly, and that is, to live so that nobody shall believe them.

“19. Alas, poor mortals! did we rightly consider our own state and
condition, we should find it would not be long before we have forgot all
the world, and to be even, that all the world will have forgot us

“20. He that would recommend himself to the public, let him do it by the
candour and modesty of his behaviour, and by a generous indifference to
external advantages. Let him love mankind, and resign to Providence, and
then his works will follow him, and his good actions will praise him in
the gate.
“21. When you hear a discourse, let your understanding, as far aspossible, keep
pace with it, and lead you forward to those things whichfall most within the
compass of your own observations.
“22. When vice and treachery shall be rewarded, and virtue and ability
slighted and discountenanced; when ministers of state shall rather fear
man than God, and to screen themselves run into parties and factions;
when noise and clamour, and scandalous reports shall carry everything
before them, it is natural to conclude that a nation in such a state of
infatuation stands upon the brink of destruction, and without the
intervention of some unforeseen accident, must be inevitably ruined.

“23. When a prince is guarded by wise and honest men, and when all public
officers are sure to be rewarded if they do well, and punished if they do
evil, the consequence is plain; justice and honesty will flourish, and
men will be always contriving, not for themselves, but for the honour and
interest of their king and country.

“24. Wicked men may sometimes go unpunished in this world, but wicked
nations never do; because this world is the only place of punishment of
wicked nations, though not for private and particular persons.

“25. An administration that is merely founded upon human policy must be
always subject to human chance; but that which is founded on the divine
wisdom can no more miscarry than the government of heaven. To govern by
parties and factions is the advice of an atheist, and sets up a
government by the spirit of Satan. In such a government the prince can
never be secure under the greatest promises, since, as men’s interest
changes, so will their duty and affections likewise.

“26. It is a very ancient observation, and a very true one, that people
generally despise where they flatter, and cringe to those they design to
betray; so that truth and ceremony are, and always will be, two distinct

“27. When you find your friend in an error, undeceive him with secrecy
and civility, and let him see his oversight first by hints and glances;
and if you cannot convince him, leave him with respect, and lay the fault
upon your own management.

“28. When you are under the greatest vexations, then consider that human
life lasts but for a moment; and do not forget but that you are like the
rest of the world, and faulty yourself in many instances; and withal,
remember that anger and impatience often prove more mischievous than the

“29. Gentleness and good humour are invincible, provided they are without
hypocrisy and design; they disarm the most barbarous and savage tempers,
and make even malice ashamed of itself.
“30. In all the actions of life let it be your first and principal careto guard
against anger on the one hand, and flattery on the other, forthey are both
unserviceable qualities, and do a great deal of mischief inthe government of
human life.
“31. When a man turns knave or libertine, and gives way to fear,
jealousy, and fits of the spleen; when his mind complains of his fortune,
and he quits the station in which Providence has placed him, he acts
perfectly counter to humanity, deserts his own nature, and, as it were,
runs away from himself.

“32. Be not heavy in business, disturbed in conversation, nor impertinent
in your thoughts. Let your judgment be right, your actions friendly, and
your mind contented; let them curse you, threaten you, or despise you;
let them go on; they can never injure your reason or your virtue, and
then all the rest that they can do to you signifies nothing.

“33. The only pleasure of human life is doing the business of the
creation; and which way is that to be compassed very easily? Most
certainly by the practice of general kindness, by rejecting the
importunity of our senses, by distinguishing truth from falsehood, and by
contemplating the works of the Almighty.

“34. Be sure to mind that which lies before you, whether it be thought,
word, or action; and never postpone an opportunity, or make virtue wait
for you till to-morrow.

“35. Whatever tends neither to the improvement of your reason nor the
benefit of society, think it below you; and when you have done any
considerable service to mankind, do not lessen it by your folly in gaping
after reputation and requital.

“36. When you find yourself sleepy in a morning, rouse yourself, and
consider that you are born to business, and that in doing good in your
generation, you answer your character and act like a man; whereas sleep
and idleness do but degrade you, and sink you down to a brute.

“37. A mind that has nothing of hope, or fear, or aversion, or desire, to
weaken and disturb it, is the most impregnable security. Hither we may
with safety retire and defy our enemies; and he that sees not this
advantage must be extremely ignorant, and he that forgets it unhappy.

“38. Do not disturb yourself about the faults of other people, but let
everybody’s crimes be at their own door. Have always this great maxim in
your remembrance, that to play the knave is to rebel against religion;
all sorts of injustice being no less than high treason against Heaven

“39. Do not contemn death, but meet it with a decent and religious
fortitude, and look upon it as one of those things which Providence has
ordered. If you want a cordial to make the apprehensions of dying go
down a little the more easily, consider what sort of world and what sort
of company you will part with. To conclude, do but look seriously into
the world, and there you will see multitudes of people preparing for
funerals, and mourning for their friends and acquaintances; and look out
again a little afterwards, and you will see others doing the very same
thing for them.
“40. In short, men are but poor transitory things. To-day they are busy
and harassed with the affairs of human life; and to-morrow life itself is
taken from them, and they are returned to their original dust and ashes.

“The occasion of this epitaph was briefly thus:–A gentleman, who had
heard much in commendation of this dumb man, going accidentally to the
churchyard where he was buried, and finding his grave without a
tombstone, or any manner of memorandum of his death, he pulled out his
pencil, and writ as follows:–


Near to this lonely unfrequented place,
Mixed with the common dust, neglected lies
The man that every muse should strive to grace,
And all the world should for his virtue prize.
Stop, gentle passenger, and drop a tear,
Truth, justice, wisdom, all lie buried here.

What, though he wants a monumental stone,
The common pomp of every fool or knave,
Those virtues which through all his actions shone
Proclaim his worth, and praise him in the grave.
His merits will a bright example give,
Which shall both time and envy too outlive.

Oh, had I power but equal to my mind,
A decent tomb should soon this place adorn,
With this inscription: Lo, here lies confined
A wondrous man, although obscurely born;
A man, though dumb, yet he was nature’s care,
Who marked him out her own philosopher.”END

Police Powers – Tim Veater

Police and their Powers – Tim Veater.

The police naturally defer to power and authority as they perceive it because
experience supports the contention that to do otherwise will cause more problems
for them and interfere with natural progression within the force. The role of
Free Masonry within the the police and legal profession is legendary. It is the
link to many in positions of authority in business, both local and national. The
fact that it is largely secret and subject to strict vows of secrecy and mutual
support, make its workings hidden and its consequences obscure.

The recent “plebgate” incident has illustrated how on two distinct counts,
officers lied either to protect themselves, damage others or make a political
point within the context of a trade dispute. It also tends to heighten
suspicions surrounding the “kettling” tactics employed at the G20 demonstrations
in 2009 (which the high court later ruled were unlawful) and the bungled
response to the London riots in 2011 – which themselves followed an incident
where a person was shot in rather suspicious circumstances, now subject to a
Coroner’s Inquest. Were these also examples of the police demonstrating
political power?

The reality is that that on the ground and in individual cases, police often
exceed and get away with their actual powers despite the fact that these have
been extended in a number of respects. “Aggravated Trespass” is a case in point,
making what had previously been a wholly civil matter into a criminal one. No
doubt police officers and aggrieved land owners would see it differently, nor
that in some cases it serves a public purpose but the example quoted in the
George Monbiot/Guardian article above, of monitors on a public footpath being
effectively arrested, not on the part of the land owner, but at the discretion
of the land owners’ union, is clearly wrong.

It is yet another example of “administrative slippage” where a certain power is
magically extended to excuse an unlawful act. In a similar way we have seen the
Terrorism Act used to prevent lawful protest, as it was in the case of Walter
Wolfgang, or of lawful passage in the case of David Miranda. It is why British
law makers in the past were always punctilious in building in protections and
defences to over-zealous enforcement for spurious reasons and why major
disasters are required, or threats of them, to pass ever more restrictive

Even in the sixties, Dixon of Dock Green was a parody of the truth. I had a
friend who was a Metropolitan Policeman at the time who witnessed police
brutality and corruption, who said he and his colleagues would roar with
laughter at how the policing was portrayed.

However it is indisputable that the nature of British policing has changed over
the years towards a more overtly aggressive and militaristic style, whether
justified by circumstances or not. More distant, aloof and unaccountable as
regards the individuals that fall foul of them. As a result the perception is
that they appear to be “changing sides”, from protecting the weak and innocent,
to being a force of repression and private interests, including their own.

Four recent local stories illustrate the point. Only yesterday I was approached
by a gentleman who felt he had been the subject of a great injustice. He claims
whilst in a gents’ toilet of a club he was verbally abused and threatened by an
employee of the national organisation of which he was a long-standing member. An
altercation ensued in which others got involved and the other person
subsequently claimed he had been attacked. Despite having no history of violence
and his adamant rebuttal, the police prosecuted him in the Magistrates Court for
common assault as a result, of which he was found guilty and made subject to
house curfew between the hours of 4 pm and 12 mn, plus banned from all pubs in
the area for two years, and forced to pay fines and compensation of more than
£600. His wife, who had also been physically assaulted, was conveniently ignored
and in fact identified as a prosecution witness but not called to give evidence,
thus preventing her from supporting her
husband’s version of account. There is little doubt the police took a course
of least resistance, supporting the employee’s version of events and getting the
desired result despite an obvious injustice. The victim has been left
disillusioned and bitter believing he was the innocent victim of a collusion
between police and club and having no route to challenge the findings or clear
his name locally.

The second recent example is a “Cornishman” report of a drug trading syndicate
broken up. No one doubts the need to fight the widespread use of “hard” drugs,
and we will swiftly pass over the CIA’s and Big Banks’ involvement in
international drug dealing, but the significant point is that the evidence that
convicted was gleaned from monitoring devices placed in the criminal’s car and
presumably done legally and admissible in evidence. Quote “Officers caught the
second round of defendants by placing a recording device into the car of
ringleader Angelo Kortje, who has since absconded to Spain and is wanted by

Read more: http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Drug-growing-gang-members-sentenced/story-19947829-detail/story.html#ixzz2i5VzXTbl

This is a new one on me about which we have heard very little in the public
domain. We may reasonably ask under what circumstances are these devices
installed and how would we know we had been targeted?

The third which runs parallel in the same edition, that patrol cars are now
fitted with devices that can automatically “read” registration plates and supply
a whole range of information relating to car and driver. Again this is done
without any discussion on its relative merits or controls or ensuring, post
Leveson, that the power will not be misused for personal gain or other reasons.


The fourth is another unassuming “Cornishman” report on the reintroduction of
police patrols to the road network in response to increased fatalities. However
buried in the press release is the fact the squad will be staffed by fire arm
trained officers. Ah there’s the rub! For the first time, without any public
discussion, it appears the officers in these patrol cars now come
psychologically and physically trained to shoot. Quote “The new unit will
consist mainly of firearms officers who also have specialist road traffic

Read more: http://www.thisiscornwall.co.uk/Traffic-police-return/story-19939716-detail/story.html#ixzz2i5b0at4i

No mention as to whether they will be carrying their weapons, either on their
person or vehicle, but it it appears that in such small “administrative” steps,
we as a nation go down a predictable and worrying flight towards an increasingly
repressive and illiberal society in which the scales tip from individual liberty
towards state power. If these stories are true of backward, sleepy Cornwall, God
help the rest of the country.END

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