|US bugged Diana's phone on night of death crash
The Observer | December 10, 2006
The American secret service was bugging Princess Diana's telephone conversations
without the approval of the British security services on the night she
died, according to the most comprehensive report on her death, to be published
In a move that raises fresh questions over transatlantic agreements
on intelligence-sharing, the surveillance arm of the US has admitted listening
to her conversations as she stayed at the Ritz hotel, but failed to notify
MI6. Stevens is understood to have been assured that the 39 classified
documents detailing Diana's final conversations did not reveal anything
sinister or contain material that might help explain her death.
Stevens's conclusion is that Diana, her companion Dodi Fayed, and Paul himself died in an accident caused by Paul driving too fast through the Pont de l'Alma underpass in Paris while under the influence of drink. The car was being pursued by photographers at the time.
Tests have confirmed that Paul was more than three times over the French drink-drive limit and was travelling at 'excessive' speed. The inquiry will quash a number of conspiracy theories that have circulated since 31 August 1997, among them that Diana was pregnant. It also found no evidence that the princess was planning to get engaged to Dodi, son of Mohamed Fayed.
The Harrods tycoon believes that Paul's blood samples were swapped to portray him as a drunk in an elaborate cover-up by the establishment to stop Diana marrying Dodi, a Muslim.
Stevens is expected to concede that while there was a mix-up it was an accident and that the original French post-mortem which found that Paul was three-times over the French drink-drive limit was correct.
He is also expected to discount the role of the white Fiat Uno which struck Diana's car shortly before the crash, even though British police officers have failed to track down the vehicle which left paintwork on the black Mercedes.
The inquiry will support the findings of the original French accident inquiry in criticising the paparazzi as a possible reason for encouraging Paul to speed. The 'bright light' theory - the claim that the driver was deliberately blinded by a beam immediately before the crash - is also dismissed by Stevens.