The Last Day In The Life Of Princess Diana by Gordon Thomas
All Images implanted/arranged by Troedyrhiw
THE LAST DAY IN THE LIFE OF DIANA:
The Twenty-Four Hours That Shook The World
Thursday, August 29, 2002 5:46 PM(original date)
7 pm, Friday, August 29, 1997:
Silhouetted by the evening sun settling over the waters of Sardinia's Emerald Coast, Princess Diana stood in the stern of the anchored speedboat. Her one-piece maroon swimsuit outlined the slight thickening around her waist.
Later Mohammed al-Fayed, the millionaire owner of Harrods, the "Royal Store", and father of Dodi, Diana's lover for those past three months, would say the fullness was the first sign Diana was carrying Dodi's child.
Today, Mohammed al-Fayed still clings to "my unswerving belief Diana and Dodi were deeply in love. That they were about to get engaged. And that she was pregnant".
On that Friday evening, Diana may well have had another thought in her head. She could swim here, off the beach in Sardinia's Cala di Volpe, away from the prying eyes of photographers.
They had pursued her around the Mediterranean, photographing and recording every moment of her very public and passionate affair with Dodi. She had teased the world's media with a promise of "sensational revelations" to come. Was she referring to her plan to marry Dodi? Would she become his Princess of the Nile, a modern-day Cleopatra to his plumpish Anthony?.
7.45 pm, Cala di Volpe:
As she swam towards the beach, urgent hand-waving came from bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones on the Jonikal. Bodyguards stationed on the beach had spotted two cars approaching.
Diana ignored the signals and waded ashore to where Dodi was waiting. With him was an old man, Larbi Bennir. He made a living hiring out jet skis. By the time Diana reached them, they were engaged in animated conversation.
Bennir later recalled, "I recognised her. Who wouldn't. But I am used to dealing with famous people. Dodi was trying to persuade Diana to try out a jet ski. But she patted her stomach and said it would make her feel sick".
A speedboat from the yacht raced to the beach. Moments later, the couple were back on board the Jonikal. Further up the beach a number of men had emerged from the cars.
"They were staring towards the Jonikal. I don't know who they were. But I don't think they were reporters", remembered Bennir. "They drove away before I could ask".
Following her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana had launched a campaign to abolish landmines. She quickly gathered support that was not welcomed by the Clinton Administration, or in London and other European capitals.
Their views were encapsulated by Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli intelligence officer:
"She was seen as a meddler, someone who did not understand what she was talking about. The reality was.. the landmine manufacturing industry provided many thousands of jobs. No one wanted to see the mines used. But no one wanted to see all those people put out of work because of her obsession".
The Jonikal, the 60-meter yacht belonging to Mohammed al-Fayed on which she and Dodi had spent the week cruising, was also under surveillance by America's all-powerful "spy in the sky" agency, its National Security Agency, NSA.
Using ECHELON, then and now, NSA's most sophisticated tracking system, one linked to NSA satellites in outer space, conversations between Diana and Dodi and all their incoming and outgoing calls from the yacht, had been scooped up.They were downloaded at NSA's top-secret base at Menwith Hill in the North of England. Then relayed to Washington, and by secure landline to GCHQ, Britain's secret communications centre at Chelmsford.
Both the Oval Office and Downing Street were kept abreast of what Diana was doing and planning. So was Buckingham Palace.
All told there were already over 1,000 transcripts of conversations. Today they remain in a temperature-controlled vault at NSA headquarters at Fort George Meade outside Washington. To this day Mohammed al-Fayed believes they contain the evidence that Diana was pregnant on that last Friday in August 1997.
8 pm, On Board The Jonikal Off The Coast Of Sardinia:
The yacht's radio room received a telephone call for Diana. It was from Prince William, her eldest son. The call ended with Diana promising she would be back in London after the weekend.
Shortly afterwards she received a call from a former officer of the Royal Protection Squad, the special Metropolitan Police unit who guard the Royal Family.
The caller reminded her to be "careful". He reminded her about "the old World War Two slogan".
The coded warning was one Diana had created for communications with the officer. Translated, it meant the intelligence services - MI5, MI6 and the CIA - were still keeping her under surveillance.
9 pm, The Dining Room On Board The Jonikal:
Diana sat at one end of the table, Dodi at the other. The yacht's captain, Luigi del Tevere, was the only other guest.
As usual the Jonikal's chef had prepared Diana's favourite dish of lobster in a cream and cognac sauce. Dodi preferred a medium-rare steak. The captain had a selection of pasta dishes. The wines were among the finest on board.
White gloved stewards served and cleared away. It was a romantic setting - one that did not match Diana's mood.
The presence of the men on the beach and the warning from the former Protection officer had changed Diana's mood. A crew member would remember that during her time on the yacht she had shown several mood changes.
"But over dinner that night her mood was very dark", he said.
She asked Tevere: "Will they ever leave me alone?"
The captain suggested he would find a secluded place on the other side of Sardinia where she could have privacy for her early morning dip.
"They'll find me wherever I go", Diana said. "You don't know them like I do". "Them" was her generic word for the spies Diana knew were tracking her.
Over post-dinner coffee in the lounge, Dodi tried to calm her fears.
He finally suggested they should fly to Paris and stay in the Hotel Ritz his father owned. From there she could fly back to London on the Monday to see her sons.
11 pm, The Lounge On Board The Jonikal:
The crew member who brought herbal tea for Diana and Turkish coffee for Dodi recalled that her mood had once more brightened.
Dodi had promised her protection would be in the hands of the Ritz assistant security chief. His name was Henri Paul.
Henri Paul was already under pressure from the most ruthless of all intelligence services, Israel's Mossad, to be their spy in the Ritz. To spy on all the arms dealers who used the hotel as a base to do their secret deals with Israel's many enemies.
Mossad's pressure on Henri Paul had driven him to drink heavily, to take pills, to sleep restlessly. He was a man teetering close to the edge.
Past Midnight, Saturday, August 30,1997:
Clad in a silk wrap, Diana stood at the starboard rail.
Trevor Rees-Jones was close by. He liked Diana. She had no "airs and graces", was how he put it.
Fit and athletic, Rees-Jones was a graduate in sport and biological science. A former member of Britain's Parachute Regiment, he was now a member of the al-Fayed family "protection team". His "special responsibility" was Dodi and Diana.
At a little after 12.30 am on Saturday morning, August 30, Diana went below, back to the yacht's stateroom.
No one knew it but Diana's life on earth had twenty-four hours left.
Noon, Saturday, August 30, 1997, Olbia Airport, Sardinia:
Standing outside the airport control tower, Gian Franco Pes watched the Gulfstream-IV jet roll to a stop. "Operation Breakout" had successfully moved up another notch. Since dawn, Pes, the VIP manager at Sardinia's Olbia's private airport, had been making preparations in the utmost secrecy to have Diana and Dodi spirited to Paris.
In the past few months he had seen off Elton John, Gianni Versace and Tom Cruise. .All had expected of him security from media intrusion.
But none more so than Dodi al-Fayed and his father, Mohammed. Calls had poured in to Pes from London and from the Jonikal.
"I was told to make sure Diana and Dodi could drive on to the tarmac and avoid all the usual passport controls", Pes would recall.
The airport authorities agreed. Another hurdle had been successfully negotiated.
Take-off time had been set at 1.04 pm. But Pes sensed things were going too smoothly. "I had this feeling that all my plans could explode in my face", he remembered thinking.
12.30 pm, Cala di Volpe Hotel, Sardinia:
The Jonikal's motor launch edged its way towards the jetty below the hotel.
Making sure that there were no photographers or reporters in sight, Kes Wingfield, another of Dodi's bodyguards, helped Diana on to the jetty. In moments she and Dodi were surrounded by other members of the al-Fayed "protection squad". In a tight group they hurried up the jetty at the back of the hotel. They entered it through the kitchen and, without breaking pace, marched across the lobby.
Startled staff and guests had a glimpse of Diana in a loose-fitting beige trouser suit. Dodi was dressed in black trousers and jacket.
One of the guests, Luigi Simola, turned to his wife Christina and asked: "Do you think she is pregnant?"
Christina ran to the hotel front entrance and watched Diana making her way down the steps. She remembered turning to her husband: "I think so. Yes, I think so. That top is definitely a maternity cut".
Diana was helped into the white Mercedes by its driver Tomas Mussa. For 35 years he had operated the island's VIP taxi service - and not once had been involved in an accident.
With bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones sat beside him, Mussa set off on the road which winds along the cost from Cala di Volpe to Olbia airport.
A second Mercedes followed, carrying more bodyguards. Each man had served in Britain's SAS. No one would ever know if they were armed with more than their martial art skills.
The journey was scheduled to take 30 minutes. But Dodi told Mussa to drive slowly so that Diana could admire the wild Sardinian coast that stretched out below them.
In the back of the car, Diana rested her head on Dodi's shoulder. From time to time she nibbled his ear and kissed him on his cheek.
Mussa recalls, "they were like lovers. Like Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor when I drove them. Like all the lovers in the world".
He noted that from time to time Dodi rested his hand on Diana's stomach. "They whispered a lot. They seemed so happy", recalled Mussa.
12.50 pm, Olbia Airport:
Gian Franco Pes was not a happy man. To make the scheduled take-off time, the car should have arrived ten minutes ago.
Eight minutes later the Mercedes arrived and swept up to the Gulfstream. Pes ran behind. But he was too late to open the door for Diana.
Rees-Jones had already done that. Sensing Pes' disappointment, Diana walked over to the VIP manager and thanked him for all his arrangements.
"Can we still leave on time?", she asked.
"Of course, princess", said Pes. "I knew I could not promise that. But how do you break a promise to a princess?"
As Diana and Dodi and the bodyguards climbed the aircraft steps, Pes punched numbers on his cell phone.
European air traffic control in Brussels answered. The moment the controller heard "Princess Diana of Wales", he gave the Gulfstream a slot for 1.24pm. Six minutes later the aircraft was climbing away from Sardinia at 500 mph.
On Board The Gulfstream En Route To Paris, 1 pm - 3 pm:
Diana and Dodi sat side by side, holding hands, kissing and cuddling. Rees-Jones and the other security men feigned not to notice.
In between the couple sipped fresh orange juice and nibbled savouries.
Richard Tomlinson, a former staff officer with MI6, would later say that "steps had been taken" to ensure the conversation between the two lovers was monitored.
3.20 pm, Le Bourget Airport, Paris:
Protected by electronically controlled gates and high fences, its VIP lounges are shielded by mirrored glass. Behind them staff pour vintage champagne for the famous and seriously rich.
The press pack lay in wait outside the airport perimeter. Louis Demarque, the airport manager for Transair, the company that handled VIP arrivals destined for the Ritz, was furious. He radioed the Gulfstream once it had landed.
"I told Dodi the situation. He said he could see the photographers from the cockpit. He was very annoyed. He kept saying 'I want us out of here'."
On board, Rees-Jones would recall, Diana sat "calm but tight-lipped"..
Two vehicles parked near the Gulfstream. One was a green Range Rover, the other a black Mercedes. Both were the Ritz Hotel's VIP transport. At the wheel of the Range Rover, drumming his fingers on the wheel, was Henri Paul. He had chosen to drive the Range Rover that would carry Diana and Dodi's baggage. No one knew why. No one asked him.
The Gulfstream door opened. From the perimeter came a fusillade of flashlights as Rees-Jones ran down the steps. The Mercedes was manoeuvred to the foot of the steps. Dodi appeared. He seemed agitated.
"Hurry, hurry", he said in French. "I want us out of here quickly".
Then Diana emerged. No longer stony faced, she walked slowly down the steps. The flash-guns were bright in the sun. Before entering the Mercedes she greeted all those standing on the tarmac. Dodi's swift departure hope had been turned into a slow Royal farewell. To many it seemed as if Diana was making a point who was in charge.
As the car swept out of the airport, the media pack followed in hot pursuit. But the motorway was packed with holiday traffic. The Mercedes was forced to a crawl.
A small Peugeot weaved through the traffic, a photographer leaning out of the window. Diana recoiled on the back seat. Then a motorbike with a pillion photographer cut in close. Diana shrank lower in her seat.
Behind, Henri Paul, acting like a one-man version of the US Cavalry, forced other vehicles to stop.
The Mercedes accelerated and lost its pursuers.
3.45 pm, Former Home Of The Duke And Duchess Of Windsor, Paris:
Hand in hand, escorted by the mansion butler, Dodi and Diana strolled through the mansion Mohammed al-Fayed had bought and refurbished. Stories had already hinted they planned to live here once they married.
For Diana there was one item of special interest: the handwritten biography of the Duchess of Windsor. In it she described how, in the 1930s, still Wallis Simpson, she had travelled in the boot of a car to avoid photographers in hot pursuit.
4.45 pm, The Ritz Hotel, Paris:
The Mercedes swept into the magnificent Place Vendome to halt outside the hotel's entrance.
A blue-uniformed doorman leapt forward to open the door for Diana and Dodi.
Inside the hotel, senior hotel managers stood in a deferential line. Diana shook their hands - the way she had done a million and more times during her years of Royal duty. She acknowledged each head bow with a smile.
5 - 7 pm, The Imperial Suite, Ritz Hotel:
All day the housekeepers had vacuumed and dusted the Imperial Suite. At €8,000 a night, it is filled with 18th century antiques from all over Europe. Like an Aladdins Cave, one room leads to an even more bedazzling room: from salon, to dining room, to a double bedroom and a bathroom of the finest Italian marble.
Chandeliers worth a king's ransom hung from the ceilings. Oil paintings from the finest galleries in a city of art galleries cover every wall.
While Diana showered and changed, Dodi made a phone call to his cousin, Hassan Yassin.
"He told me again he was very serious about Diana. I asked him if they were to get married. He said, without hesitation, 'yes, and very soon'. I said I was very happy for them both", Yassin would recall.
After he had showered, Dodi put on the gift Diana had given him: a set of cuff-links that her father, Earl Spencer, had worn at Diana's wedding to Prince Charles.
As they sat and drank champagne and ate smoked salmon sandwiches, Dodi told her he had ordered an engagement ring for her from Alberto Repossi, the jeweller to the really rich of Europe.
She had clapped her hands in delight. Catching her mood, Dodi said he wanted to pledge his troth to her in his apartment on the Champs Elysees.
"Oh perfect", she breathed in that voice which had thrilled millions.
The couple had no inkling that their shared intimacies had been picked up by some of the intelligence men who had earlier checked into the hotel.
"Just how they had bugged the Imperial Suite is a matter of speculation. But bugged it they had", insisted Ari Ben-Menashe, the former Israeli intelligence officer.
Some time after 6 pm Dodi called Henri Paul on the house phone. The security man was in his office. Dodi told him the luggage from the Gulfstream should be delivered to Dodi's apartment.
At 7 pm, Paul was in the lobby to watch Dodi and Diana leave the hotel for Dodi's apartment at 1, Rue Arsene Houssaye.
Clutching the mobile phone he carried everywhere with him, and with his slightly
swaggering walk, Henri Paul walked to his modest black Mini and drove to the Bar Opera Select on the Rue Danielle Casanova. It was one of his many favourite drinking spots. He had told the Ritz telephone operator that unless there was an "absolute emergency" he was not to be disturbed.
It was shortly after 7.30 pm when he began to drink what turned out to be the equivalent of a bottle and a half of wine. Only later would it emerge he also swallowed anti-depressants and pep pills .
Having betrayed that most precious of all promises the Ritz offered a guest - confidentiality and security - Henri Paul was increasingly out of control.
8.15pm, Dodi Al-Fayed's Apartment, Paris, Saturday, August 30:
From the second-floor windows overlooking the Champs Elysees, Dodi watched his carefully prepared plan shatter, to take Diana for dinner at the Michelin-star Chez Benoit restaurant, to celebrate their engagement.
In the street below the posse of photographers and reporters grew by the moment. Not all were bona-fide journalists. Among them were agents from MI6. They had flown in from London earlier that afternoon to try and establish the truth of feverish rumours surging through London's Whitehall and Buckingham Palace - fed by a stream of calls from Sunday newspaper reporters - that Diana planned to return to London on the Monday to tell her children she was going to marry Dodi.
In Paris there were also agents from the CIA. Their interest was primarily what Diana would do next to further her campaign to abolish landmines. President Clinton had asked to be kept fully briefed.
An agent from Mossad - operating out of a safe house near the Pompidou Centre in the city's Fourth Arrondissement - was also monitoring events, especially the activities of Henri Paul.
Paul had also recently been approached by the French intelligence service, DST, to inform for them.
Ari Ben-Menashe, a former Israeli intelligence officer, who would later be asked by Mohammed al-Fayed to investigate the background to the activities of the various spy agencies, would confirm "there was a strong and present presence from the intelligence world around Diana".
David Tomlinson, a former MI6 officer, who was also later asked to help Mohammed al-Fayed, would insist the total number "of agents from MI5 and MI6 on the Diana case were twelve".
In Dodi's apartment, its owner made new plans. He cancelled the dinner reservation at Chez Benoit. He called the Ritz and told them he and Diana were returning to have dinner.
But first he wanted the area outside the apartment cleared. In minutes plain clothes and uniformed gendarmerie arrived to hold back the photographers.
Upstairs Diana and Dodi once more changed their clothes. He chose Texan-leather cowboy boots, blue hipster jeans, a light green shirt and a brown jacket.
Diana was dressed in white slacks, a black silk top and jacket.
At 9.20 pm, the Ritz black Mercedes arrived outside the apartment. Diana and Dodi ran from the building. She gave a little wave to the photographers. Dodi looked grim.
10 pm, The Imperial Suite, The Ritz Hotel:
Diana and Dodi sat at one end of the imposing dining table while staff served them dinner. Minutes before, they had to struggle through the melee outside the hotel.
Sightseers had joined the mass of photographers. One was Colm Pierce. He noticed one of the snappers had "a bulge under his jacket where his gun was". The man disappeared into the crowd before Pierce could challenge him.
Through the open French-door of the suite's wrought-iron balcony that overlooks Place Vendome, Dodi and Diana could have clearly heard the crowd.
According to one of the hotel staff, Diana had ordered a small salmon soufflé and a salad. Dodi had Dover sole. They ate sparingly, no doubt distracted by the increasing bedlam outside.
Even when Dodi asked a waiter to close the balcony door, the tumult carried clearly into the suite.
Finally, Dodi had picked up a house phone and asked to be connected to Henri Paul. He was at home in his apartment. Dodi told him to return to the hotel at once.
Moments later Henri Paul arrived in his Mini. Parked close by was a white Fiat Uno. Other photographers thought it belonged to perhaps the most notorious paparazzi of them all. His name was James Anderson. Based in Paris he had made snatching pictures of Diana his speciality. It had earned him a fortune.
But Anderson was not in the ever-growing crowd of snappers. He was at home with his wife. How the white Uno had come to be outside the hotel would become one of the
many unsolved mysteries now taking root.
As well as the man with the "bulging gun", there were two other photographers who were strangers to the rest of the Press pack.
They called themselves "Danny" and "Hubert". On the hotel security video cameras they appear to be middle-aged and casually dressed.
Mohammed al-Fayed would later say the men were intelligence officers.
10 pm, The Ritz Hotel Lobby:
Henri Paul discussed the best way to whisk Diana and Dodi out of the hotel and back to Dodi's apartment. Listening were Rees-Jones and Wingfield, the two senior members of the al-Fayed "protection squad".
Proposals were discussed and rejected. The two bodyguards drank water; Henri Paul sipped pineapple juice. Their voices were low and intense.
Outside, the crowd grew. Now came further worrying news. The rear entrance to the hotel, in Rue Gambon, was being guarded by a dozen photographers.
Finally, according to Rees-Jones, Henri Paul said the "only sensible way to get them out was to still use the back door".
He would post hotel security men there and would drive to the back door. Diana and Dodi would be waiting inside and jump into the car.
"At most there would only be time for the paparazzi to get a few snaps", insisted Henri Paul.
The intention was to give any pursuers the idea that the car was heading for the Duchess of Windsor mansion.
The plan would be to drive by the long fast road on the north side of the River Seine. Then Henri Paul would double back into the 16th Arrondissement, and take the car through its back streets to Dodi's apartment.
As options went, Rees-Jones would later say, "this was OK".
But he had a suggestion. There should be a decoy at the hotel's front entrance. Henri Paul, clearly caught up in the drama of the night, began to give rapid-fire orders.
10.45 pm - Close To Midnight, Outside The Ritz:
Like caged animals, the Press pack shoved and jostled behind the arms-linked hotel security men. The tension was growing.
Inside the security cordon a small team of hotel porters fussed around four cars, including the Ritz "baggage cart".
A security man moved among the photographers murmuring: "Soon, soon, you will get your pictures".
A paparazzi who rejoiced in the name of "Romuald the Rat", wondered if this was a "set-up". He eased himself back through the crowd and made his way towards the side road that led down to the Rue Gambon.
He stopped his powerful Honda motorcycle at the mouth of the street. Further up he could see the small group of photographers around the Ritz' back entrance. Rat was riding pillion. He told his driver to keep "revved up".
Out front of the hotel, Christian Martinez, known as "the sniper" because of his long-range lenses, sensed the tension in his lesser experienced colleagues could lead to "problems when Diana and Dodi appeared".
At 11.20 pm another photo-journalist, who had made his name with pictures of the Tianamen Square massacre in 1989, decided "this is all a waste of time".
He walked to his car, passing the white Fiat Uno that everybody thought belonged to James Anderson. But there was still no sign of him in the crowd.
12.15 am, Saturday, August 31, The Ritz Lobby:
For the last twenty minutes, a night manager had stood by a lobby phone. When it rang he nodded.
He turned to one of the al-Fayed bodyguards. He spoke into a cell phone. "Go in five".
Two minutes later, at 12.17 am, the four cars outside the hotel front entrance roared out of the Place Vendome. A fusillade of camera gun-shots followed them.
In a stampede, the photographers raced for their cars and motorcycles.
No one noticed the white Fiat Uno had already left.
At 12.18 am, Diana and Dodi emerged from a service lift, surrounded by hotel security staff. Half-running the group headed for the rear entrance. Dodi held Diana's left elbow.
The group waited inside the rear entrance door. The sound they had been waiting for came moments later. At 12.20 am, Henri Paul's Mercedes roared to a halt outside the door. Trevor-Rees Jones was in the front passenger seat.
The waiting photographers were forced to jump out of the way. By the time they had recovered and begun to take pictures, the car was shooting down the street.
Waiting at the corner was Romauld the Rat, sat on the pillion of his Honda. "Go! Go!" yelled the Rat as the Mercedes swept past them.
12.23 am, The Place De L'Alama Underpass:
The Mercedes raced down the Place de la Concorde, gathering speed. It was heading, as per Henri Paul's plan, for the two-lane expressway. To reach it meant passing through the underpass.
Behind the car, now speeding at 118 km/h, was the white Fiat Uno. It also was travelling at high speed. Behind, but falling back, was a motorcyclist. The Rat would later vehemently deny it was him..
Further behind, came other photographers. They saw the Mercedes hurtle through a red traffic light at the junction with the Champs Elysees.
At some point, the white Fiat Uno and Henri Paul's Mercedes were racing side by side towards the mouth of the underpass.
Inside the Mercedes the passengers would have felt the moment when the two cars touched - leaving a white paint mark on the side of the Mercedes.
Still travelling at high speed, the Mercedes passed over the dip at the tunnel entrance. The white Uno was now in the tunnel.
In the back seat, neither wearing a seat belt, Diana and Dodi may well have clung to each other. More certainly they would have experienced for a split-second a sensation not unlike that of a plunging roller coaster as the car entered the tunnel.
Seconds later came a thunderous noise inside the tunnel. A roaring screeching of metal, a reverberating, crumpling sound of metal that seemed to go on and on.
Henri Paul and Dodi were dead. Trevor Rees-Jones, who had sat beside the driver, was seriously injured - even though he was the only person wearing a seat belt.Diana was dying.The Fiat Uno had vanished.
12.30 am, Inside The Tunnel:
Romauld the Rat was the first paparazzi to arrive. He took three quick shots of the wrecked car. Then he opened the nearside door.
"Henri Paul's head was resting on the driving wheel. Beside him Trevor Rees-Jones was bleeding profusely. The princess was still breathing. There were no visible external injuries. She was crunched between the back and front seats. I felt her pulse. I told her in English, "help is coming". Then I continued to do my job", recalled Romauld.
He took 19 photographs of the scene inside the car. Other photographers arrived. They began to film the tragedy. Soon they fought among themselves for better positions to record the carnage.
The first policeman to arrive was Sebastian Dorzel. He noticed jewellery scattered on the back seat where Diana had sat. He pocketed them. "I did not want anyone stealing these valuables", he said later.
At 5.44 am local time, the world was officially told that Diana was dead. Romauld the Rat was quoted as saying "she looked like an angel with only a drop of blood coming from her nose".
Mohammed al-Fayed would continue to lead the claims that the white Fiat Uno was central to discovering the role of the intelligence services in the deaths of Diana and his son.
Almost four hours after the crash, James Anderson suddenly flew to Corsica. There was no obvious professional reason for him to make such a trip. There was no one famous on Corsica worth photographing at that time.
Afterwards a Fiat Uno sprayed blue, was found in a Paris garage. When the blue was scratched the car revealed to have been white. A test of the paint revealed it matched that of the white paint found on the Mercedes. The police did not pursue the matter.
In May 2000, a burnt out car was found in woodland near Nantes in France. The driver was still inside the car. DNA tests showed the body was that of James Anderson.
Gordon Thomas is the author of "Gideon's Spies: Mossad's Secret Warriors". The paperback edition is published by Pan Books (UK). It is available from Amazon Books