Interim Report Says Princess Diana Crash Was Accidental
3/6/2006 5:38 PM PT
British newspaper says report will be published in May
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
(Mar. 6) -- An official British inquiry into the 1997 death of Princess Diana in a high-speed car crash has found no evidence of foul play, a newspaper reported Monday.
The Daily Mail said the interim report, to be published in May by former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, will dismiss conspiracy theories about the deaths of Diana, her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, and their chauffeur, Henri Paul, in a Paris tunnel.
Those theories include an allegation that Prince Charles was plotting to kill his former wife by staging a car accident. Fayed's father, Al Fayed, who owns Harrods department store in London, has said he suspects not only Charles, but also his father, Prince Philip.
The two-year investigation by 10 detectives will say that even a skilled racing driver would have had difficulty controlling the Mercedes carrying Diana as it hurtled through the Pont d'Alma tunnel in Paris, the Daily Mail reported. The newspaper cited "French judicial sources" at one point in its story, but did not identify them further.
An official French inquiry concluded that Paul was drunk when he left the Ritz hotel with the couple and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, who was seriously injured in the crash.
France's highest court dropped manslaughter charges in 2002 against nine photographers who pursued Diana's car before it crashed or who took photos at the site.
French officials have said all traffic cameras on the road that Diana's car took, and within the tunnel, were not working the night of the crash.
But Monday's Daily Express newspaper challenged that finding, saying a woman was caught speeding by a camera in the Pont d'Alma tunnel moments before Diana's crash.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman declined to comment about the Daily Mail report, saying the investigation was still under way and no date has been set for the interim report to be completed and given to the coroner. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, as the police officials always do as a matter of policy.