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French police collect DNA in Alps murder case

French police are collecting DNA samples of detectives and medical staff who worked on the Alp murder of a British-Iraqi family to exclude their DNA from the case after an expert accidentally contaminated crime-scene material, a prosecutor said Saturday.

French police collect DNA in Alps murder case
The lay-by where the brutal murders took place in September 20012. Photo: AFP

Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud denied media reports suggesting the DNA could be that of the still unidentified killer, saying it belonged to a ballistic expert who handled material that had already been thoroughly analysed by police.

"No other DNA trace has been found at the moment," he said.

The contamination has, however, prompted police to collect elimination samples from investigators, rescue workers, medical staff and laboratory technicians in case more elements are contaminated.

Police in France have been struggling to solve the case of the shootings last year in the Haute-Savoie department, where Saad al-Hilli, his wife Iqbal and her mother Suhaila al-Allaf were all found dead inside their estate car near Lake Annecy on September 5, along with a French cyclist who investigators believe was an innocent bystander.

The couple's two young daughters survived the attack, which took place in the village of Chevaline, about 150 kilometres (90 miles) from Daillon.

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POLITICS

French justice minister faces trial on conflict of interest charge

France's justice minister has been ordered to stand trial in a conflict of interest case that has embarrassed President Emmanuel Macron's government, his lawyers said on Monday.

French justice minister faces trial on conflict of interest charge

His lawyers said they had immediately lodged an appeal to block the move.

Eric Dupond-Moretti, a former star defence lawyer, was last year charged with misusing his position to settle scores with opponents from his legal career, becoming the first sitting French justice minister to be charged in a legal probe.

The accusations relate to administrative inquiries into three judges. The three had ordered police in 2014 to pore through the phone records of dozens of lawyers and magistrates, including Dupond-Moretti, as part of an investigation into former president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The judiciary accused Dupond-Moretti of a witch-hunt.

He denied the allegations, saying he was merely acting on the recommendations of his staff to investigate possible mistakes by the magistrates who oversaw the seizures of the phone records.

The order to stand trial was issued by the investigation commission of the Law Court of the Republic in Paris (CJR), which hears cases of alleged wrongdoing by serving ministers.

But his lawyers, Christophe Ingrain and Remi Lorrain, said they had already appealed against the move.

“The order no longer exists,” they told reporters as they exited the CJR building.

Dupond-Moretti was not present.

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