Diana, that SAS murder claim – and why it may not be as mad as you think:  Sue Reid, who’s studied all the evidence, has found tantalising new  clues

By  Sue Reid

PUBLISHED: 17:13 EST, 30  August 2013 |  UPDATED: 17:50 EST, 30 August 2013

The final, haunting photo of Princess Diana,  taken on the night she died, shows her sitting with her boyfriend Dodi Fayed in  the back of a Mercedes car as it roars away from the rear entrance of the Paris  Ritz Hotel, heading for the couple’s secret love-nest near the  Champs-Elysees.

Diana is twisting her head to peer out of the  Mercedes’ rear window, anxiously looking to see if her car is being chased by  the paparazzi who had besieged her and Dodi since their arrival in the French  capital from a Mediterranean holiday four hours earlier.

At the wheel is chauffeur Henri Paul. Dodi’s  bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones is in the front passenger seat.

The haunting last picture taken of Diana shows her peering out the rear window to look for paparazzi. Trevor Ress and chauffeur Henri Paul are also pictured

The haunting last picture taken of Diana shows her  peering out the rear window to look for paparazzi. Trevor Ress and chauffeur  Henri Paul are also pictured

What happened over the next two minutes is  central to a new probe by Scotland Yard into an astonishing claim from an SAS  sniper, known as Soldier N, that members of his elite regiment assassinated  Diana seconds after the Mercedes sped at 63mph into the notoriously dangerous  Pont d’Alma road tunnel.

Many will dismiss Soldier N’s claims as yet  another conspiracy theory. After all, millions of words have been written about  Diana’s death at 12.20am on Sunday, August 31, 1997.

Two inquiries, by Scotland Yard and the  French police, have found the deaths were a tragic accident.



An official inquest, which ended five years  ago, came to the same conclusion.

The world was led to believe the blame lay  with the grossly negligent driving of an intoxicated Mr Paul and the pursuing  paparazzi.

But — however unlikely they may seem at first  glance — I am convinced there is something in Soldier N’s  claims. 

Ever since Diana’s death at the age of 36, I  have investigated forensically the events that led up to the crash and what  happened afterwards.

I have spoken to eye-witnesses, French and  British intelligence officers, SAS soldiers and to friends of Diana and Dodi.  And I have interviewed the Brittany-based parents of the 41-year-old chauffeur  Henri Paul. They told me, with tears in their eyes, that their son was not a  heavy drinker: his chosen potion was a bottle of beer or the occasional Ricard,  a liquorice-flavoured aperitif.

The fact is that too many of these accounts  suggest that Diana’s death was no accident.

Diana in a hotel lift with Dodi Fayed. Sue Reid believes there may be some truth in he Soldier N's claims

Diana in a hotel lift with Dodi Fayed. Sue Reid believes  there may be some truth in he Soldier N’s claims

Crucially, my investigations show that the  paparazzi who supposedly hounded Diana to her death were not even in the Pont  d’Alma tunnel at the time of the car crash. 

They also reveal how a high-powered black  motorbike — which did not belong to any of the paparazzi — shot past Diana’s  Mercedes in the tunnel.

Eyewitnesses say its rider and pillion  passenger deliberately caused the car to crash. 

In addition, my inquiries unearthed the  existence of a shadowy SAS unit that answers to MI6, as well as the names of two  MI6 officers who were linked by a number of sources to Diana’s death.

Could the Establishment really have turned  Henri Paul and the paparazzi into scapegoats? Could there have been a skilful  cover-up by people in powerful places to hide exactly what did  happen? 

There is little doubt that Diana, recently  divorced from Prince Charles, was a thorn in the side of the Royal Family. Her  romance with Dodi, though only six weeks old, was serious. 

The Princess had given her lover her ‘most  precious possession’ — a pair of her deceased father’s cufflinks — and phoned  friends, saying she had a ‘big surprise’ for them when she returned from  Paris.


Dodi had slipped out of the Ritz Hotel, as  Diana was having her hair done, to collect a jewel-encrusted ring adorned with  the words ‘Tell Me Yes’ from a swanky Paris jeweller. It came from a collection  of engagement rings.

Rumours were circulating, too, that  the  Princess was pregnant. Photographs of her in a leopard-print  swimsuit, on  holiday in the South of France 14 days earlier, show an  unmistakable bump  around her waistline.

And, as the Mail revealed after Diana’s  death, she had visited — in the  strictest secrecy — a leading London hospital  for a pregnancy scan just  before that photo was snapped.

To add to the disquiet, the mother of a  future King of England and head of the Church of England was threatening to move  abroad with her Muslim  boyfriend and take the royal Princes, William and Harry,  with her. 

Dodi had bought an estate, once owned by film  star Julie Andrews, by the  beach in Malibu, California, and shown Diana a video  of it. He told her  the sumptuous house was where they would spend their married  life. 

Ostracised by the Royal Family and stripped  of her HRH title, Diana was said to be excited by the prospect.

Dodi’s father, Mohamed Al Fayed, the  multi-millionaire former owner of  Harrods, insists Diana was pregnant by his  son and preparing to tell the young Princes about her forthcoming marriage when  she returned to  Britain on September 1 — the day after the crash — before they  went back to boarding school.

However far-fetched it sounds, all  the  Establishment concerns about Diana were genuine. But could this  really have led  to her assassination? And if so, how could it have been  carried  out? 

These  questions are partially answered by  the compelling testimony of 14  independent eyewitnesses near the crash scene  that night. They say  Diana’s car was surrounded at the entrance to the Alma  tunnel by a  phalanx of cars and motorcycles, which sped after the  Mercedes.

Crash: Conspiracy theories have long surrounded Diana's death in Paris in 1997 despite the official finding that it was an accident caused by paparazzi photographers

Conspiracy theories have long surrounded  Diana’s death  in Paris in 1997 despite the official finding that it was  an accident caused by  paparazzi photographers

The assumption has always been that the cars  and bikes were carrying the  paparazzi. By the Monday morning after the crash,  outside the Alma  tunnel, a huge message had appeared. ‘Killer paparazzi’ had  been sprayed in gold paint on the walls.

No one, to this day, knows who put it there —  or why they were not stopped by the French authorities from doing  so. 

Yet the paparazzi following Diana did not  reach the Pont d’Alma tunnel  until at least one minute after the crash, so they  cannot be to blame.

Indeed, two years later they were cleared of  manslaughter charges after the  French state prosecutor said there was  ‘insufficient evidence’ of their  involvement in Diana’s death.

What happened is that the paparazzi  had been  deceived. In a clever ploy devised by Henri Paul, the Ritz had  placed a decoy  Mercedes at the front  of the hotel to confuse the  photographers, which  allowed the lovers to slip out of the back door  into a similar car.

The  last picture of Diana peering from the  rear window was taken by a  France-based photographer who had seen through the  ruse and was standing on the pavement by the hotel’s rear entrance watching as  the ‘real’  Mercedes sped off.

Claim: The allegation that Princess Diana was murdered by the SAS is under investigation

The allegation that Princess Diana was murdered by the  SAS is under investigation

Yet that Mercedes was definitely being hotly  pursued when in the tunnel. The independent witnesses insist it was being  followed not only by the black motorbike, but by two speeding cars, a dark  Peugeot and a white turbo Fiat Uno.

There is no evidence to link these cars or  the motorcycle to the paparazzi who had been waiting at the Ritz.

The Peugeot tail-gated the Mercedes, which  made the chauffeur — thinking, wrongly, he was being pursued by paparazzi —  drive even faster and more erratically. Meanwhile, the Uno accelerated, clipping  the side of the Mercedes to push it to one side.

This manoeuvre allowed the black motorbike to  speed past Diana’s car, with its two riders wearing helmets that hid their  faces.

Witnesses claim that when the bike was about  15ft in front of the car, there was a fierce flash of white light from the  motorbike. The suggestion is that this came from a laser beam carried by the  pillion passenger and directed at the car.

The witnesses’ view is that the flash of  light blinded Henri Paul temporarily. It was followed by a loud bang as the  limousine swerved violently before slamming into the 13th pillar in the tunnel  and being reduced to a mass of wrecked metal.

One of those eyewitnesses, a French harbour  pilot driving ahead of the  Mercedes through the tunnel, watched the scene in  his rear-view mirror.

Chillingly, he recalls the black motorbike  stopping after the crash and one of the  riders jumping off the bike before  going to peer in the Mercedes window  at the passengers.

The  rider, who kept his helmet on, then  turned to his compatriot on the bike and gave a gesture used informally in the  military (where both arms are crossed over the body and then thrown out straight  to each side) to  indicate ‘mission accomplished’. 

Afterwards, he climbed back on the   motorcycle, which raced off out of the tunnel.  The riders on the bike,  and the vehicle itself, have never been  identified. 

The harbour pilot, whose wife was with him in  the car, has described the horrifying scenario as resembling a ‘terrorist  attack’.

So, who could have been driving the bike and  the other vehicles that did follow Diana’s car into the Alma tunnel that  night?

Princess Diana and with Dodi Fayed (pictured together on the night they died) were killed alongside Henri Paul when the car crashed in a Paris tunne

Princess Diana and with Dodi Fayed (pictured together on  the night they died) were killed alongside Henri Paul when the car crashed in a  Paris tunnel  

Could they really have been part of  the plot  to get rid of Diana and her lover — a plot orchestrated by MI6  or the SAS  regiment, as the latest sensational claims suggest?

After Diana’s death, I received a nine-line  note in the post containing the  names of two MI6 men who have spent their  entire careers working at the  heart of the British Establishment, representing  the Government as  senior diplomats, whom I will call X and Y.

Written in blue felt-tip pen on a flimsy  piece of paper ripped from an A4  exercise book, the note said: ‘If you are  brave enough, dig deeper to  learn about X and Y. Both MI6. Both were involved  at the highest level  in the murder of the Princess.’ It signed off with the  words: ‘Good  luck.’

Of course, an  unsigned note does not provide  firm evidence, or anything like it, that  MI6 spies were operating in Paris that  evening or were connected with  Diana’s death.

Yet their names came up again when I received  a call from a well-placed source within the intelligence services.

The families of Henri Paul and Dodi al Fayed (pictured with Princess Diana) have always believed their was a murder plot

The families of Henri Paul and Dodi al Fayed (pictured  with Princess Diana) have always believed their was a murder plot 

He named the same two men, X and Y,  who had  overseen the ‘Paris operation’ and said the crash was designed  to frighten  Diana into halting her romance with Dodi because he was  considered an  unsuitable partner.

‘We hoped to break her arm or cause a minor  injury,’ said my informant.  ‘The operation was also overseen by a top MI6  officer known as the tall  man, who is now retired and living on the Continent.  He admits it went  wrong. No one in MI6 wanted Diana to be killed.’

And this week the men’s names were   mentioned again, this time by Moscow intelligence. 

According to the author of a new book, the  Russian Foreign Intelligence Service,  the SVR, knew that X and Y were in Paris  on the night Diana died. And  after the car crash the SVR set out to find out  why. 

Gennady Sokolov, whose book The Kremlin vs  The Windsors will be published next  year, told me this week: ‘Of course our  people were following your  agents.

They were  senior MI6  officers  operating secretly in Paris that night, without the knowledge of even French  counter-intelligence. They left again after  she was dead.

‘Her relationship and possible  marriage to  Dodi was deeply worrying to senior royals in Britain. The  Princess’s phone was  constantly listened to and she was followed all the time. 

‘After the crash,  public opinion was  deliberately led astray. Scapegoats were created,  such as the paparazzi and the  drunk driver.  There was a dance around  Henri Paul, saying he was an  alcohol addict, a virtual kamikaze, who  helped to destroy them all. It is total  nonsense.

‘From the very beginning, it was clear to me  it was not just an accident. My  sources in the SVR and other Russian secret  services are sure it was a  very English murder.

‘They have talked to me about an SAS squad  called The Increment, which is attached to MI6, being involved in the  assassination.

‘These guys work on the top level  without  leaving a single trace, and — perhaps — one was on the motorbike following  Diana’s car.’ But why did none of this extraordinary story  come out at the  inquest into Diana’s death, which should have been the  final word on  it?

It’s true that 14 tunnel witnesses were at  least allowed to appear or send  their testimonies. But much of their vital  information was completely  submerged by the sheer volume of evidence presented  over the six months  of the hearing.

We heard  that chauffeur Henri Paul and Dodi  Fayed were killed instantly; that the sole survivor was  the bodyguard  Trevor Rees Jones, who suffered such  devastating facial injuries he has no  memory of events in the tunnel,  and that  with the pulmonary vein in her   chest torn, Diana died nearly  four hours later of heart failure and   blood loss at Paris’s Pitie  Salpetriere hospital.

But  we also know that the inquest never  unravelled the full truth. More than 170 important witnesses, including the  doctor who embalmed Diana’s body (a process that camouflages pregnancy in  post-mortem blood tests) were  never called to the inquest. 

One radiologist from Pitie Salpetriere  hospital, who said that she had seen a small foetus of perhaps six to ten weeks  in the Princess’s womb  during an X-ray and a later sonogram of her body, was  not questioned.

Co-operation: Dodi's father, Mohammed Al Fayed, has apparently given his blessing to the film - pictured here with Diana in 1996

Diana with Dodi’s father, Mohammed Al Fayed, who has  always said that she was pregnant


Instead, she was allowed by the judge heading  the inquest, Lord Justice Scott Baker, to send a statement giving her current  address in America and no more details.

Crucially, the hearing was cruelly unfair to  chauffeur Henri Paul, who was vilified from the beginning.

On the day after the crash, French  authorities insisted that he was an alcoholic and ‘drunk as a pig’ when he left  the Ritz that night to drive the lovers to Dodi’s Paris apartment near the  Champs-Elysees. 

It has since emerged that the blood tests on  Paul’s body had not been completed when they made the announcement to  journalists.

Furthermore, the chauffeur had  passed  an intensive medical examination for flying lessons three days before the crash  — his liver showed no sign of alcohol abuse. 

A string of witnesses at the Ritz say Paul  drank two shots of his favourite Ricard at the bar before taking to the wheel,  which was confirmed by bar receipts at the hotel. 

However, after a shambolic mix- up over his  blood samples (deliberate or otherwise), it was pronounced by a medical expert  at the inquest that Paul had downed ten of the aperitifs, was twice over the  British driving limit and three times over the French one, when he drove the  Mercedes that night.

Today is the 16th anniversary of Diana’s  death and there are bunches of fresh flowers on the gilded gates leading to her  London home, Kensington Palace. The flowers to commemorate the Princess may be  fewer now, but there are still as many questions into her death as  ever.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2407571/Princess-Diana-SAS-murder-claim–mad-think-says-SUE-REID.html#ixzz2dVIFryI4 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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