Magazine article Newsweek

Case Very Nearly Closed: Police Are Looking for That Fiat and the Fayeds Hint of Conspiracy, but the Crash Looks like a Routine Accident

Magazine article Newsweek

Case Very Nearly Closed: Police Are Looking for That Fiat and the Fayeds Hint of Conspiracy, but the Crash Looks like a Routine Accident

Article excerpt

Police are looking for that Fiat and the Fayeds hint of conspiracy, but the crash looks like a routine accident

THE VICTIMS OF THE fatal crash in a Paris tunnel last August were anything but ordinary. But investigators now believe that the accident that killed Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, was just that-ordinary. Within days of the crash, sources say, French police had all but discarded stories of paparazzi cutting off the doomed Mercedes and settled on a much more mundane explanation: Diana and her boyfriend were killed in a routine drunken-driving accident. Repeated lab tests showed the driver of the car, Henri Paul, who was also killed, had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit.

Now the Fayeds, who had denied since the crash that Paul was drinking in the hotel, are admitting that he was. For the first time, Michael Cole, a Fayed spokesman, has told NEWSWEEK that Paul drank two glasses of pastis--a licorice-flavored liqueur--over a two-hour period in the Ritz Hotel bar on the night of the crash. Paul sold sailboats before joining the staff of the Fayeds' hotel 11 years ago and had little formal training as a security officer. The Fayeds have pointed to a medical certificate Paul received three days before the crash to prove that he could not have been habitually drinking or using drugs. But the doctor who signed the certificate says blood isn't usually screened in such cases.

Still, conspiracy theories persist. While Dodi's father, Mohamed A1 Fayed, has publicly expressed faith in the investigation, privately he is said to believe that someone conspired to kill his son and the princess. …

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