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CRIME

Alps murder: one-time suspect kills himself

In the latest unsettling twist in the unsolved murder of a British-Iraqi in Annecy, a former cop once looked at as a possible suspect has killed himself because he felt 'accused'.

Alps murder: one-time suspect kills himself
A former cop (not pictured here) questioned in the murder of a British-Iraqi family has killed himself. Photo: Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP

A former French Legionnaire, questioned in the 2012 murder of four people in the French Alps, committed suicide on Tuesday, police said.

Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud told AFP, confirming information reported in the French media, that the former soldier had "left a note of six or seven pages in which he said he was disturbed by the questioning. He felt accused".

"It does not make this the main or sole reason for his action," added Maillaud.

The unnamed former Legionnaire and paratrooper, who was 50 years old, was found dead at his home in Ugine on Tuesday afternoon, apparently shot dead.

An investigation into his death has been launched.

Saad al-Hilli, a 50-year-old Briton of Iraqi origin, was gunned down along with his 47-year-old wife Iqbal and her 74-year-old mother in a woodland car park in the hills above Lake Annecy in the French Alps on September 5,  2012.

A French cyclist, Sylvain Mollier, was killed after apparently stumbling upon the scene.

The unnamed former soldier had been questioned "for two hours in April 2013", in regard to the case of Mollier. He was not considered a suspect in the case, said Maillaud.   

The Hillis' young daughters, Zainab and Zeena, survived the attack.

More than 1,300 people have been questioned in France and abroad in connection with the case.

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CRIME

How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

France is set to announce new measures this week to prevent youngsters from accessing porn websites, in the latest round of a years-long struggle to protect children from explicit material.

How France plans to prevents youngsters accessing online pornography

“I plan to put an end to this scandal,” Digital Affairs Minister Jean-Noel Barrot told the Parisien newspaper on Monday.

France’s data protection and media regulators Cnil and Arcom are set to announce their latest proposals to rein in porn websites which are in theory subject to a 2020 law requiring age verification.

Previous attempts have been held up by privacy and technical concerns, as well as court action by the websites.

To its frustration last September, a Paris court ordered Arcom to enter into mediation with several porn websites including market leader Pornhub, holding up efforts to block them.

READ MORE: France hits Google and Facebook with huge fines over ‘cookies’

Under the new proposal, people wanting to access explicit material will need to download a phone application that provides them with a digital certificate and code, the Parisien reported.

The code will be needed to access a porn website under a system “which will work a bit like the checks from your bank when you buy something online,” Barrot told the newspaper.

“2023 will mark the end of our children accessing pornographic sites,” he added.

President Emmanuel Macron, who is married to former school teacher Brigitte Macron, promised to make protecting children from porn a priority during his bid for re-election last year.

In November, he launched the Children Online Protection Laboratory, an initiative that aims to bring together industry giants and researchers to look for ways to shield minors online.

In September last year, a report entitled “Hell Behind the Scenes” by French senators concluded that there was “massive, ordinary and toxic” viewing of porn by children.

The report found that two thirds of children aged 15 or less had seen pornographic content.

The French production industry has been roiled by a series of sexual assault cases in recent years in which women have come forward to allege rape, mistreatment and manipulation by directors and fellow actors.

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