17 Dec 2013

No SAS involvement’ in Princess Diana’s death

Police investigating a letter claiming that the SAS may have been involved with the death of Princess Diana say there is “no credible evidence” to back the claims.

Diana letter: SAS role in her death ruled out (G)

The allegation is thought to have been made by the former parents-in-law of an ex-soldier, based on information that he talked about in the past. That information was then was passed to the Metropolitan police via the Royal Military Police.

Channel 4 News saw the letter in August in connection with the second court martial of another SAS soldier, sniper Sgt Danny Nightingale, who was found guilty of illegally possessing a gun and ammunition.

However, Scotland Yard on Tuesday ruled ruled out reopening an investigation after examining the letter.

Diana, Dodi al-Fayed and chauffeur Henri Paul died after their Mercedes crashed in a Paris tunnel after leaving the Ritz hotel on the morning of 31 August 1997.

‘Establish the truth’

Mohamed al-Fayed, Dodi’s father, was “disappointed” by the outcome and will continue his fight “to establish the truth that they were murdered”, his solicitor, Simon McKay, said.

He said: “Mr al-Fayed will continue his struggle to reveal the truth about the tragedy in Paris which claimed the lives of his eldest son and Princess Diana.”

The Met said officers had conducted a “scoping exercise” to assess the “relevance and credibility” of the information provided, and to decide whether it was sufficient to warrant a reopening of the criminal investigation.

In a statement, it said: “This assessment included taking statements from a number of individuals and reviewing records. As part of the scoping officers were given unprecedented access to Special Forces Directorate records.

“Every reasonable line of inquiry was objectively pursued in order to fully evaluate any potential evidence.

‘No credible evidence’

“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.

“Therefore the MPS are satisfied there is no evidential basis upon which to open any criminal investigation or to refer the matter back to HM Coroner.”

But Mr McKay branded the “so-called scoping exercise” “the latest whitewash in a 16-year cover-up”.

He added: “The Met should never have been given charge of the case as they had every incentive to return the result we now see. To have done anything else would have called into serious question their own Paget report of 2007.

“The case of Soldier N should have been rigorously investigated by the Royal Military Police.

“It was wrong to put in charge of the scoping exercise an officer, Philip Easton, who had been an important figure in the Paget investigation, which said the deaths were accidental, a judgment overruled by the jury at the inquests that said that Dodi and Diana had been unlawfully killed.

“Mr al-Fayed will continue his fight to establish the truth that they were murdered and is convinced he will succeed in doing so.”