By Jon Clarke
THE father of a British father-of-two gunned down in cold blood with his family in the French Alps died a sad and lonely death on the Costa del Sol.
Olive Press can reveal that millionaire businessman Kadhem al-Hilli passed away in a care home in Benalmadena without any of his family present.
Intriguingly detectives are now probing his death after it was claimed he mysteriously went missing for six days prior to his death at the SAR care home in Torrequebrada last August.
They are also probing why his murdered son Saad (below) – whose body was found in a mountain layby with two bullets in his head, alongside his dead wife and mother-in-law a fortnight ago – put a stop on his will, allegedly, in part, over the ownership of his father’s flat in Mijas.
The reported feud between brothers Saad, 50, and Zaid, 53, has led to speculation that Zaid ordered the hit, which also saw the death of a French cyclist, who police believe witnessed the killing.
In a letter Saad – a wealthy engineer, who lived in a €2m home in Surrey – had described his brother as a ‘control freak’ and insisted he wanted to ‘wipe him out of my life’.
While Zaid has strongly denied the fued, claims that both brothers had been present at their father’s side on his deathbed last year do not ring true, as the Olive Press has discovered.
Neither son, it emerges, is listed on his death certificate, which is held at Benalmadena register office.
More intriguingly, a close friend, who witnessed his death and signed paperwork, insisted he did not want to comment on the fued between the sons.
“I would prefer not to comment on that,” said Alla Hussein Mohamed, from Fuengirola, who kept a close eye on the ageing Iraqi in the years before his death.
Despite confirming that his sons were NOT at the care home on August 11 last year, he said they had turned up together in the ensuing days to pick up his body.
“This is a huge international case and I am not able to comment on that,” insisted the fellow Iraqi, who is listed on his death certificate.
“Both sons arrived in Spain and took him back to London. They came over from time to time to see him and they were both very sad as you would expect. As for their exact relationship I don’t want to comment.”
What he was able to confirm was that Kadhem al-Hilli lived a comfortable life in a small apartment in Avenida Mejico, in Mijas, where he had moved from England after his wife’s death some 10 years earlier.
The cultured, softly-spoken engineer had originally fled Baghdad in the 1970s to escape persecution from former dictator Saddam Hussein, going on to run a string of factories in the UK.
He had made a lot of money, which allegedly saw him acquire property in the UK, France and Switzerland, as well as Spain.
But in his early 80s he became frail and started to suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
He became confined to a wheelchair and was cared for by a Morrocan woman, known as Asia, for the last three years of his life.
“But he lived a comfortable life and was adamant that despite having no family here, he did not want to go back to the UK, back to the rain,” continued Hussein, a fellow Iraqi, who kept a watchful eye over him in his latter years.
“Despite his sons only coming over from time to time, I think he was happy here.”
British and French police continue to probe the case which has shocked the world.
This week they began looking at a theory that the French cyclist, who worked in the nuclear industry, could have been the target and not the al-Hilli family.
However, the fued between the brothers, which involved control of their late father’s estate appears to be the most likely cause.