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SundayMirror.co.uk – News – DIANA EXCLUSIVE THE DRIVER’S LOST THREE HOURS

In Uncategorized on July 24, 2006 at 4:01 pm

SundayMirror.co.uk – News – DIANA EXCLUSIVE: THE DRIVER’S LOST THREE HOURS23
July 2006
DIANA EXCLUSIVE: THE DRIVER’S LOST THREE HOURS
Revealed: The Diana Report Paul missing from 7-10pm on night of crash
£75,000 was paid into his bank.. and he was MI5 agent
Crash Merc limousine was NOT sabotaged
By Chester Stern Leading Crime Writer
SCOTLAND Yard detectives investigating the death of Diana, Princess of
Wales, are baffled over the disappearance of driver Henri Paul for three
hours on the night of the Paris car crash.
They have “no idea” about the movements of the chauffeur in the crucial
hours leading up to the smash which killed the Princess despite an extensive
two-and-a-half-year inquiry.
The investigation is being led by former Scotland Yard Commissioner Lord
Stevens and is widely expected to conclude the deaths of Diana and boyfriend
Dodi Fayed were accidental.
But the process was sensationally thrown into chaos on Friday night when
royal coroner Michael Burgess – who appointed Lord Stevens – quit.
Mr Burgess insisted he did not have the time to devote to the massive
inquiry, while friends said, with the stakes so high, he felt frustrated by
the interference of the Government, members of the Royal Family and Dodi’s
father, Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed.
Now the Sunday Mirror has learned that evidence uncovered by the inquiry
team – which had been due to report to Mr Burgess next month on the ninth
anniversary of the tragedy – will raise serious questions about the role of
Paul.
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Lord Stevens has established that Paul, deputy head of security at the Ritz
Hotel in Paris, was a paid informant for the security services of Britain
and France. The Stevens team have also found that £75,000 had been placed
into Paul’s bank account – much of it from British banks – in the weeks
leading up to the crash.
But they can find no explanation for the bizarre route Paul – trying to
outrun a pack of paparazzi photographers – took from the Ritz to Dodi
Fayed’s flat off the Champs Elysee.
British investigators are understood to have made significant progress in
answering key questions left unanswered by a French judicial inquiry. In
particular, they have found an explanation for the high levels of carbon
monoxide in Henri Paul’s blood. But they have discounted claims that the
couple’s Mercedes had been tampered with.
Claims that Paul was acting under instructions from spymasters on the night
of Diana’s death remain unresolved. Specifically, his movements after he
went off duty from the Ritz at 7pm before he returned at 10pm to drive Diana
and Dodi to their deaths in the Alma Tunnel are a mystery. One witness saw
him collect his car from outside the Champmesle bar not far from his home
minutes before he arrived back at the Ritz. But apart from that the evening
is a blank. And in spite of his familiarity with the road to Dodi’s flat, he
took a longer course which led away from the flat and took in the ill-fated
tunnel. The belief that he may have been paid to take such an unusual course
is fuelled by the bank account revelations and confirmation that Paul was a
paid agent of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and the French
equivalent of MI5, the DST. Both services have co-operated with the Stevens
team, but neither can shed any light on Paul’s whereabouts on the evening of
August 30, 1997.
Dodi’s father Mohamed Al Fayed firmly believes his son and Diana were
murdered by British security services and that Paul was made scapegoat as
part of an official cover-up. One of his main suspicions was based on the
amount of carbon monoxide in blood samples from Paul’s body. If accurate, he
would have been semi-conscious and incapable of driving.
Mr Al Fayed has always contended that the samples were either not from Henri
Paul or had been tampered with. Now, according to sources, an explanation
has been found for the reading. Among the other issues the detectives have
resolved is the reason for the presence of certain MI6 officers in Paris on
the night of the crash. Lord Stevens was appointed in January 2004 by Mr
Burgess to investigate the conspiracy theories about the crash… including
claims that the couple were murdered.
KEY POINTS
The Motorcyclists HENRI Paul could have left the Seine Expressway at the
last exit before the Alma Tunnel. But witnesses say a lone motorcyclist sat
astride his bike blocking that exit and forcing the speeding Mercedes into
the tunnel.
Was he there deliberately as part of a plot to cause the crash or is there
an innocent explanation? Witnesses also spoke of another motorcyclist who
sped past the Mercedes as it entered the tunnel. His pillion passenger is
said to have fired a blinding flash into the eyes of Henri Paul. Were these
paparazzi photographers or assassins firing a disorienting laser gun?
The Embalming
FRENCH pathologist Professor Dominique Lecomte, who carried out an autopsy
on the body of Henri Paul, apparently partially embalmed Diana’s body before
it was transported back to Britain for a post-mortem examination. This is
against the law and international forensic practice because it contaminates
body tissue and renders toxicological tests meaningless. Did she do this to
remove evidence of pregnancy or traces of poisoning, drugs, or alcohol? Or
is there an innocent explanation.
The Pregnancy
MOHAMED Al Fayed insists Diana was pregnant with his grandchild at the time
of her death. Her friend Rosa Monkton, who shared a holiday with the
Princess a week before she died, is adamant that this is impossible. And
former royal coroner Dr John Burton, who was present at Diana’s autopsy,
says there was no evidence of pregnancy. The Stevens team will be able to
give unbiased evidence.
The Fiat Uno
THE Mercedes was seen to collide with a white Fiat Uno as it entered the
tunnel. While Henri Paul lost control of his car, the Fiat continued through
the tunnel although part of its bumper and broken tail light were found in
the road after the crash. The driver never came forward and French police
failed to find the car. Some witnesses said it appeared to be loitering near
the mouth of the tunnel before the crash.
James Andanson
HE was the French photographer who owned a white Fiat Uno which was sold and
resprayed days after the crash. Like Henri Paul, he was a paid informant for
British and French intelligence, giving rise to suspicions that he might
have been part of a plot. He insisted he was not in Paris that night and
left France next morning for Corsica.
Some have questioned this story since, as the photographer who had pursued
Diana and Dodi most closely all summer, he would have been unlikely to
abandon the story just when it became worldwide news. According to friends
Andanson (right) boasted he was the first photographer on the scene, took
his pictures and left before police arrived.
Almost three years later his charred remains were found in a locked car on
remote farmland in the South of France. Local authorities said it was
suicide. The conspiracy theorists say it was murder.
The Onlookers
IN the hours leading up to the crash – the afternoon and evening of Saturday
August 30, 1997 – a crowd of curious onlookers gathered outside The Ritz
Hotel in Paris to watch the comings and goings of Princess Diana and Dodi
Fayed.
Among them was a pack of photographers who only left to follow the couple –
and the remainder was an ever-changing throng of tourists who paused to
watch for a while before moving on. But security cameras at The Ritz picked
up two men who stood at the edge of the crowd for many hours without leaving
or talking to anyone. Despite public appeals for them to come forward they
have never been identified.
Were they secret agents with some sinister motive? The British security
services have co-operated fully with Lord Stevens and it is believed they
have identified these men and given an explanation for their behaviour.
Bank Accounts
AT the time of his death Henri Paul had 13 separate bank accounts, held in
four different banks, containing a total of £120,000. In one account five
cash deposits totalling £4,000 each had been made in the months leading up
to the crash and further sums amounting to £75,000 were allegedly
transferred into his accounts mainly from British banks over the same
period.
Yet his annual salary was around £20,000. The team have been seeking an
explanation for this unexpected wealth.
The Break-ins
FOUR nights after the crash a photographer named Lionel Cherrault, working
for the French photographic agency SIPA but based in Britain, had his flat
in North-West London broken into.
He had been acting as an agent forwarding pictures of the crash to
publications around the world. The intruders left all the valuables and took
only two external computer hard disk drives and a laptop computer. They left
no fingerprints.
The next day Cherrault was told by detectives that he had “not been burgled”
and police made it clear that they neither could nor would take any action.
The clear implication was that the intruders had been members of an official
clandestine organisation trying to intercept pictures of the crash.
As a former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Lord Stevens should
have no difficulty in discovering the truth of that episode and how it does
or does not fit in with conspiracy theories.
Two days after the discovery of James Andanson’s body the Paris headquarters
of the agency he worked for, SIPA, was raided by two masked men who shot a
security guard and held staff at gunpoint while they reportedly ransacked
Andanson’s office and stole computer disks.
Investigators have had the full co-operation of the French so it is likely
they will have discovered the truth.
The CCTV
THE original French judicial inquiry into the crash was unable to see CCTV
footage of the crash scene or the progress of the Mercedes because officials
claimed all the cameras failed to work that night. But one motorist received
a speeding ticket after being captured on a camera at the entrance to the
Alma Tunnel 15 minutes before the crash. The British detectives will now be
able to give an explanation for this anomaly.
The Bomb
WITNESSES have told of a loud explosion like a bomb blast coming from the
tunnel at the time of the crash. Sophisticated tests have taken place to
replicate the sound of the crash for witnesses to hear to show that the
noise of a tunnel crash sounds like a bomb explosion. Theories that the car
was tampered with or had devices attached to it have been discounted after
the British team took the wrecked car apart and studied it microscopically.

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