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No ‘credible evidence’ British special forces were involved in Diana’s death, inquiry finds

Allegations that the elite Special Air Service (SAS) unit was somehow involved in the Paris deaths of Princess Diana, her companion Dodi Al Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul, surfaced in August. Omar Karmi reports
The wreckage of Princess Diana's car in the Alma Tunnel of Paris. Britain's Princess Diana, her friend Dodi Fayed and their driver Henri Paul were all killed in the crash in August, 1997. (file)
The wreckage of Princess Diana's car in the Alma Tunnel of Paris. Britain's Princess Diana, her friend Dodi Fayed and their driver Henri Paul were all killed in the crash in August, 1997. (file)

LONDON // There is no “credible evidence” that British special forces were involved in the death of Princess Diana, a British police inquiry concluded.

Allegations that the elite Special Air Service (SAS) unit was somehow involved in the Paris deaths of Diana, her companion Dodi Al Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul, surfaced in August.

London’s Metropolitan Police then announced that they were evaluating new information to decide whether to reopen an investigation into the 1997 car crash that killed the hugely popular princess, mother of Britain’s second-in-line to the throne, Prince William.

But on Monday night, police concluded there was not enough evidence to proceed.

“Every reasonable line of enquiry was objectively pursued in order to fully evaluate any potential evidence,” police said.

“The final conclusion is that whilst there is a possibility the alleged comments in relation to the SAS’s involvement in the deaths may have been made, there is no credible evidence to support a theory that such claims had any basis in fact.”

The comments in question first came to light in a letter unearthed in an unrelated court trial in August of a former SAS member, Danny Nightingale. The letter to a commanding officer of the unit, though not from Nightingale, suggested that a former member had boasted that the SAS were behind Diana’s death.

The suggestion echoed past accusations by Mohammad Al Fayed, the father of Dodi and former owner of luxury London store Harrods. He had claimed that his son and Diana – who he said had just become engaged – had been murdered under orders from the British royal family.

An inquest concluded in 2008, however, that the deaths were the result of an unlawful killing caused by the “grossly negligent” driving by Paul – who was found to have been under the influence of alcohol – and pursuing paparazzi, who had provoked a high-speed car chase.

That was also the conclusion of the French inquest in 1999.

British police refuse to comment on the letter leaked in August or the contents of any material that came to light in the Nightingale trial.

Mr Al Fayed, who abandoned his quest to prove foul play in 2008, has refused to comment on developments since August. Buckingham Palace has also not made any comment.

okarmi@thenational.ae

Updated: December 17, 2013 04:00 AM

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