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The Independent from London, Greater London, England • 8

The Independenti
London, Greater London, England
Issue Date:
Extracted Article Text (OCR)

FRIDAY 15 DECEMBER 2Q0(j THE INDEPENDENT AfteF three years and 3.7m, Stevens finds no cover-up and no conspiracy HOME mm gation lay a team of detec-tives confirmed the findings of an earlier French inquiry that the death was caused by a drunk chauffeur who lost control ofhis Speeding car in a Paris underpass. The 832-page Operation Paget inquiry report, pub police inquiry into the allegation that Prince Philip and MI6 colluded to murder Diana, Princess of Wales, and her lover, Dodi Fayed, has concluded that there was no conspiracy and there was no The three-year investi lished yesterday comprehensive debunked most of the conspiracy theories built up around the world's most infamous car crash. The man behind the majority of the allegations, Mo-hamed al-Fayed, the father ofDodi, attacked the inves- There was no establishment conspiracy, specifically by Ml 6, to murder Diana, Princess of Wales. Forensic tests on the Princess's blood showed no trace of pregnancy hormones. Dodi Fayed may have been planning to propose but the Svefght of evidence' suggested the I tigationinto the August 1997 crash, describing it as "garbage" and a "cover-up'7.

The Harrods owner maintained Diana and Dodi were assassinated on the orders of a member of the Royal Family. But Lord Stevens, the former commissioner of the Metropolitan Police who headed the 12-strong team of detectives, concluded that the crash was a "tragic acridentfandthat there was rnevidenceofamurder conspiracy. The inquiry report did reveal however, the key role played by a mystery driver, whose flat Uno appears to have triggered the crash after it cdlkled with the Mercedes beirig used to transr port the Process. It also provided a fascinating insight into the Princess's state of mind, her relationship with the rest of the Royal Family and with Dodi -who may have been planning to propose to her on the night of their death The report concluded that the driver, Henri Paul, who was also killed, was drunk and driving at excessive speed. He had an alcohol level of about 174 mfllilitres per litre ofblood at the time of the crash about twice the British drink-driveliinit.

The black S280 Mercedes was being driven through the Pont de 1'Alma tunnel in Paris at about 61 to 63mph twice the speed limit for that section of road, Lord Stevens said: "Our conclusion is that, on all the evidence available at this time, there was no conspir-acyto murder any of the occupants of the car. This was a tragic accident There was no conspiracy and there was no cover-up" It also scotched several allegations, including the suggestion that the Princess of Wales was pregnant, or interested in marryingEkxlL Prince William and Prince Harry welcomed the "conclusive findings' and called for speculation surrounding their mother's death to come to an end. By Jason Bennetto Crime Correspondent LCD mm accident In her car. But no evidence was found to I support thii There was no evidence of any link between Prince Philip and the Security and Intelligence Service (MI6). Diana's driver, Henri Paul, was speeding and had an alcohol level of around 1.74 mfllilitres per 1 litre of blood -twice the I British drink-drive limit he was two times over the British drink-drive limit, and had recently been taking drugs for alcoholism.

It was also confirmed that he was an informer to the French security services The report highlighted for the first time the significance of a collision between the Mercedes and a white Fiat Uno shortly before the accident. Reconstructions found that the crash started just outside the tunnel The report concluded "that the driver of the Mercedes, Henri Paul, was between 6Q and 105 metres from the beginning of the underpass when he started to perceive the hazard presented by another vehicle, such as the Fiat Uno, and thus saw the need to take avoiding action. "mothervordSj the chain of events that led to the fetal 'accident' started some way from the entrance to the underpass. By the time the Mercedes approached the thirteenth pillar, the result was inevitable, ie the Mercedes would collide with the I Computer reconstruction i i from five to three. But what-i ever the confusion, the British I detectives are sure about, one.

thing: that M. Paul was twice. Princess was not intending to become betrotlied to him, including testimony from Prince William. Diana's Mercedes made a 'glancing Mow with a white Fiat Uno in the Paris underpass. But the vehicle was never traced.

Diana feared the Prince of Wales was planning an The brothers werebriefed aboutthe report-which included graphic witness accounts of Diana as she lay injured in the car's wreckage by Lord Stevens on Wedne sday night Diana, 36, Dodi, 42, and Paul were all killed when their Mendes crashed into the 13th pillar of aParis un-derpassintheearfyhoursof 81 August 1997. Their firmeriy known as Mr Reefr Jones, was the sole survivor. None of the occupants was wear-ingaseatbelt. The findings fall short of blaming the paparazzi for chasing the Princess and her partner, but the report makes it clear they were hounding the couple throughout their stay in Paris. The attenticnbecame so mtrusive that Dodi can-celledaplannedmealonthe night of the accident and returned to the Ritz hotel.

It was from there that the hotels deputy security manager, Mr Paul, drove them later that evening. Blood tests showed that I oratorl ho slloararllw ci icniHra ic death of James French photographer, who owned a white Rat Una, but cleared him because he was not in Paris at the time of the accident What happened to Henri Paul's Mood samples? There is no reasonable explanation for why the number of I blood samples taken on 31 August 1997 was changed 24 PI ma Plasms As manufacturers of quality High Definition flat screen TVs, we wanted to clear up once and for all exactly which large screen panel type offers the best viewing experience. So we asked consumers Just like you what they thought The results were conclusive, Plasma TVs were evaluated as "the most preferred screen" versus LCD in every criteria tested: sharpness, colour, response speed, contrast, quality of black, resolution and image depth. Wa want you to have the full story, so we've put everything online. Ydu dan read the Survey, check put the technical facts and find out all you need to know about flat screen TVs. Ths rasultB on each criteria tasted wars ovwwtwbiilngly In favour of Plasma. For example, wtien asked wNqfr display format la beat for colour, 6596 of consumers found Plaama to be the beat Th ney was culled out ki London, Pah), aid Cdogna by ynoMlBj en Independent neMenoh oompenyL Bolti Paaniaand LCD orMtift, 37-kiQh and taajor, wSji no MeVs bnsid nenei ehoviMd ttw Who was driving the white Flat Uno? A white Rat Uno "glanced" the side of the Mercedes shortly before ft entered the. Alma underpass. Despite a massive search by the French authorities, the carand its driver have never been found. Lord Stevens suggested yesterday that it may be because, under French law, a person involved in a road accident can be jailed.

The police fnvesti- HITACHI Inspire the Next sound, vision, soul -w--'-. auJ Ji..

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