Princess Diana could have been saved if French diplomatic officers had known she was in Paris, a court heard yesterday (22.11.07).
The jury at the London inquest into Diana’s death were told an officer from the French police unit, who was not named, claimed officials could have carried out “discreet covert surveillance” to help protect her during her visit.
The man made his claim to British Consul General Keith Moss on 31 August, 1997, just hours after the princess was killed in car crash along with lover Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul.
Moss said the man approached him at the Pitie Salpetiere Hospital moments after Diana had been pronounced dead, while three VIPs, including former French president Jacques Chirac, paid their respects.
The officer asked Moss if the British had known the princess was in France and, if so, why his service was not told.
Moss added: “He then went on to say that, however informal, if a contact had been made with his organisation, through embassy facilities I suppose, then
they would have conducted – if you like – discreet surveillance or security coverage during the time of her visit.”
Michael Mansfield QC for Dodi’s father Mohamed Al Fayed, asked Moss if the officer gave the impression that the car crash might have been prevented had his unit been involved.
He replied: “That was the inference of what he was saying, yes.”
Moss also confirmed to the inquest he believed the British security services, MI5 and MI6, had a base in Paris at the time of the tragedy, although he said he was not aware of their activities.
He said: “I know that there were officers from the security services there, but whether they were from MI5 or MI6, I do not know the differentiation.”
He also claimed British diplomats had not known Diana was in Paris that night.
Mohamed has always claimed Diana and Dodi were killed by the British establishment as the princess was pregnant and the couple were about to announce their engagement.