LONDON: British police on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) said they had finished examining new information about the 1997 death of Diana, princess of Wales, but had found “no credible evidence” she was murdered.
Scotland Yard police headquarters announced in August it was checking the credibility of recently received information about the deaths of the princess and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed, including an allegation that she was murdered by a British military figure.
“The Metropolitan Police Service [MPS] undertook a scoping exercise to assess the relevance and credibility of that information,” the force said in a statement issued Monday. “That scoping exercise is now complete,” it stated, adding that a formal statement would be made on Tuesday.
Diana and Fayed were killed in a car crash in a Paris underpass in the early hours of August 31, 1997, along with their driver, Henri Paul.
It is understood that the claim a member of elite British army regiment the Special Air Service (SAS) was involved was made by the former parents-in-law of an ex-soldier, based on information he had talked about in the past.
“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,” said the police statement. “Therefore the MPS are satisfied there is no evidential basis upon which to open any criminal investigation,” it added.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley has provided all involved parties with a summary report of the probe.
Operation Paget was the name of the two-year police inquiry into the numerous conspiracy theories surrounding the crash. Led by John Stevens, formerly Britain’s top policeman, it concluded in 2006 that all the allegations it assessed were without foundation. It rejected the murder claims voiced by some, including Fayed’s father, the Egyptian tycoon Mohamed Al-Fayed.
Dodi Fayed, 42, and driver Paul—the deputy head of security at Al-Fayed’s plush Hotel Ritz in Paris—were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The Mercedes-Benz car had smashed into a pillar and spun around. Diana, 36, the ex-wife of Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, and the mother of Princes William and Harry, died later in hospital.
Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, a member of the Al-Fayed family’s protection team, survived. Seeking to outrun chasing paparazzi photographers, Paul was found to have been speeding. His blood alcohol level was found to have been more than three times over the French limit.
Diana married Charles in 1981 but their shaky marriage fell apart soon after Harry’s birth in 1984, with both sides admitting adultery. They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.