31/05/2006

'New evidence' in Diana death

Lord Stevens has hinted that new evidence has emerged in the investigation into the death of Princess Diana.

Although Lord Stevens, who is leading the inquiry, made the announcement at the Hay Festival in Hay-on-Wye, he refused to elaborate further on the new material, saying that he had revealed more than he had intended to.

The former Metropolitan Police chief was questioned about the inquiry into the 1997 Paris crash in which Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed were killed by the festival's director Peter Florence. He said that there were new witnesses and new forensic evidence, but said: "I can't tell you at this stage... you've already got under my radar."

However, Lord Stevens did confirm that his team had taken possession of the car involved in the crash and had dismantled it.

The revelations about new evidence have been welcomed by Mr Al Fayed's father, Harrods boss Mohammed Al Fayed.

Princess Diana, Mr Al Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul were killed in the crash which happened as they were speeding away from the Ritz hotel, pursued by paparazzi photographers on August 31, 1997.

Controversy has surrounded the circumstances of the crash, although an inquiry by French authorities in 1999 ruled that the crash had been caused by Paul, who had been drinking and was driving too fast.

Lord Stevens was asked to investigate the crash by the Royal Coroner two years ago.

(KMcA/SP)

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