Appeal for info: London's Met Police investigating 1985 murder of Gerard Hoarau
At the time, Hoarau was a leader of the Mouvement Pour la Resistance, a Seychellois political activist group based in London. (Metropolitan Police Service)
Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service in London who are investigating the 1985 murder of Gerard Hoarau, a former political figure from Seychelles, are appealing for information more than 37 years after the killing.
According to a press release from the Met Police on Friday, the ongoing investigation is being led by detectives from the Met's counter terrorism command, and officers continue to explore lines of enquiry in the United Kingdom and overseas.
The press release stated that Hoarau, aged 34 at the time, was shot multiple times with a sterling sub-machine gun on the doorsteps of his home in Greencourt Avenue, Edgware, at around 10.15 p.m. on Friday, November 29 in 1985.
He was pronounced dead after being taken to the hospital.
At the time, Hoarau was a leader of the Mouvement Pour la Resistance (MPR- Movement for Resistance), a Seychellois political activist group based in London opposing Seychelles' government of the time that was led by late President France Albert Rene.
|Hoarau was shot multiple times on the doorsteps of his home in Greencourt Avenue, Edgware. (Metropolitan Police Service) Photo License: All Rights Reserved
Commander Dominic Murphy, who leads the counter terrorism command, said that Hoarau was a prominent Seychellois activist who was living in London when he was brutally murdered.
"Unfortunately, we have not been able to bring anyone to justice for his murder. However, the passage of time has not diminished our efforts to achieve justice for Gerard's family," said Murphy.
The Met Police is asking anyone with information in relation to the murder of Hoarau to contact the investigation team at GerardHoarauMurderAppeal@met.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously quoting "Met Police – SO15 Op Edgcourt" on the UK number 0800 555 111.
Murphy added that "while we keep an open mind as to the circumstances around Gerard's murder, we can't rule out the possibility of it being linked to his political life, and this remains a line enquiry."
"This remains a sensitive and extremely challenging investigation, and detectives are appealing to anyone who may have information about Gerard's murder to come forward. We appreciate that people might be hesitant to tell police what they know about Gerard's murder, but I want to give assurances that any information provided to officers will be treated in the strictest confidence," said Murphy.
Gerard's brother Ralph Hoarau, speaking on behalf of the family, said in a statement: "Gerard's love for his country and his people was absolute and unconditional. On behalf of our family, I appeal to all our fellow Seychellois to kindly cooperate with the Met Police and afford them every assistance in their investigations and in the pursuit of establishing the truth."
He added that "on behalf of all who supported and loved Gerard, we would like to thank Scotland Yard for their relentless work, efforts and dedication in trying to solve this case."
Two arrests were made as part of the investigation, following a 2016 review of the case by officers from the Met's Counter Terrorism Command.
A 77-year-old man, Ian Withers, was arrested in Antrim, Northern Ireland, on August 2 in 2018, on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. According to the BBC, the former private detective admitted to spying on Hoarau but denied any involvement in the murder. He was released under investigation.
Another man in his 80s was also arrested at Gatwick Airport on August 9 in 2018 arriving on an inbound flight into the UK, on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. He remains released under investigation.