Scotland Yard investigating claim SAS was behind Princess Diana's death

Scotland Yard investigating new information that the British military's elite Special Air Service was linked to Princess Diana's death

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 August, 2013, 4:37am


British police are examining an allegation that Diana, princess of Wales, was reportedly murdered by a British military figure as new information about her death 16 years ago in a Paris road crash emerged.

Scotland Yard said it was checking the credibility of recently received information about the deaths of the princess and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed.

They were killed in a car crash in a Paris underpass in the early hours of August 31, 1997, along with their driver, Henri Paul.

Citing a military source, the Sunday Telegraph said the allegation came from the estranged parents-in-law of a member of Britain's special forces, who gave evidence in the trial this year of Danny Nightingale, a soldier with the SAS, the British military's elite Special Air Service, who was convicted of illegally possessing a weapon.

The man said to be the source of the allegations, known only as "Soldier N" in the trial, was himself convicted of illegal weapons possession.

The newspaper reported that his estranged wife's parents wrote to the SAS's commanding officer claiming the soldier had told his wife that the unit had "arranged" Diana's death and that this had been "covered up".

Sky News said the new information also includes references to Diana's diary.

PA and Sky News television said the information had been passed to Scotland Yard by the Royal Military Police.

"The Metropolitan Police Service is scoping information that has recently been received in relation to the deaths and assessing its relevance and credibility," Scotland Yard said.

"The assessment will be carried out by officers from the specialist crime and operations command.

"This is not a re-investigation and does not come under Operation Paget."

Operation Paget was 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. None of them had been wearing seatbelts.

Seeking to outrun paparazzi photographers, Paul was found to have been speeding, while his blood-alcohol level was found to have been more than three times over the French limit.

The longest-running and most expensive inquest in British history concluded in 2008 with a jury finding Diana and Fayed had been "unlawfully killed" by the grossly negligent driving of Paul and following vehicles.

Diana married Charles in 1981 but their already shaky marriage fell apart soon after Harry's birth in 1984, with both sides admitting adultery. They separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.

A royal spokeswoman said there would be no comment on the matter from William or Harry, or from Charles's Clarence House office.