Princess Diana’s driver Henri Paul arranged prostitutes for wealthy clients, it was suggested at the inquest into the princess’ death yesterday (05.02.08).

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Paul – who was behind the wheel of Diana’s car when it crashed in Paris on August 31, 1997, killing himself, the princess and her lover Dodi Fayed – worked as head of security at the city’s Ritz Hotel and allegedly had a sideline business to earn extra cash.

It was claimed the chauffeur provided personal shopping and other services for multi-millionaire guests, who included Arab princes.

The extra money he secretly earned was allegedly hidden in his 15 bank accounts, with clients giving him backhanders of about UKP1,000.

In the 11 months before he died Paul banked almost UKP44,000 in 11 payments. The jury at London’s High Court were told how Paul had a history of taking in women in difficulty.

Dodi’s father Mohamed Fayed believes Paul was paid by the British secret services as part of a plot to murder the couple as they were about to announce their engagement.

Fayed’s lawyer Michael Mansfield QC suggested the amounts were “far in excess” of what UKP21,000-a-year Paul could make in tips. Investigating accountant Paul Laffan, who found Paul had UKP170,000 stashed away, replied: “I follow your point.”