10 Sep 2012

Girl now out of coma

6:40 am on 10 September 2012

A girl who survived the killing of her parents in a car in the French Alps on Wednesday is out of a coma and will be questioned by the police as soon as she is able.

''She (Zainab) has come out of her artificial coma and she is now sedated," said Annecy prosecutor Eric Maillaud.

''She is better and her condition is improving little by little. She will be able to be questioned, but in what time frame?"

An uncle and aunt of Zainab are by her side at a hospital in Grenoble.

Zainab's father, Saad al-Hilli, an Iraqi-born Britain was shot twice in the head in their car on Wednesday on a remote forest road near the village of Chevaline.

His wife, an older woman and a passing cyclist were also killed in the same manner.

French and British police are continuing their search of the family home in Surrey near London.

Zainab's sister, Zeena, aged four, who was unscathed after the shootings, is now back in Britain.

There is widespread speculation about a motive for the killings, including robbery, a family feud or a possible link to Hilli's work in the aerospace industry.