By Daan de Wit
Translated by Marienella Meulensteen
Last night, VPRO aired the CBC-documentary Diana: The Night She Died [trailer]. In it, among others, Erik Petel told his story. Petel was a coincidental passer-by who tried to help Diana after the crash and who saw how blood ran from her nose and ear. Only after he tried to make her sit up, which caused her head to fall backward and the light of the tunnel shine on her, did he see who she was.
He called for assistance from a telephone booth, but the place of the accident was wrongly noted down as a non-existant place. Subsequently, he went to the police station where he was not helped adequately, made a scene, was handcuffed and transported to the main police station. He was told there that he'd better not go public with his story. He is a direct witness who has never been heard by the French investigative committee. The report of his interrogation on that certain night of Diana's death is not to be found. In the documentay, Petel's lawyer is amazed that a higher-up of the French magazine Paris Match confirms in the documentay that Petel has been interrogated and also knows by whom.
Facts are hidden
The documentay also showed an interview with the journalist Patrick Chauvel. He spoke with frustrated French researchers of the death of Diana and Dodi who were under a lot of pressure of the Élisée, or the French government, to not reveal too much. They showed Chauvel proof that undermines one of the French lies, namely that the flash pole at the entrance of the tunnel would not have worked. Someone who had sped into the tunnel five minutes before the crash received a fine fifteen days later after having been flashed. Chauvel saw the photograph made by the flash pole of the Mercedes of Diana, saw the date, but also the flashed speed: 105 km/ph. With this, another lie about the very high rate of speed has been refuted. The legs under the proof for that very high speed had been previously sawed at by Mercedes Benz (see part two of this DaanSpeak series), as also told in the documentay by John McNamara, head security of Harrods after 26 years of service at Scotland Yard.
He was rightfully astonished in the documentay about another remarkable fact, namely that during the very night of the accident, the tunnel was completely cleaned. In the documentary you see pictures of how the cleaners are very thorough using special machines. All traces were erased and are literally covered with sand. Journalist Dickey of Newsweek was amazed that he did not come across anyone in the tunnel at seven in the morning, and that the road was already open for traffic.
[The next paragraph has been added on April 18, 2004 and comes from HUMO [14/3317, '04] which cites from the book 'Diana, death of a legend', written by, also the maker of the documentary 'Diana: The Night She Died'], Cohen: [... Patrick] Chauvel fell silent for a moment. Then he said nonchalantly: 'Yes, there was something else. They found cocaine in the handbag'. I was stupefied. Bewildered, I asked whose handbag he was talking about. 'There was only one woman in that car', Chauvel said with a wry smile. [...] The cocaine find probably filtered very quickly to the police top and their political superiors: a few hours later instructions were issued that the information was not to leak out. That probably also explains why Dodi's mobile phone was not found at the place of the accident: 'It is possible that conversations were registered on his mobile phone with people that were known to the police as drug dealers.' Via [Cohens colleague] David Carr Brown, Cohen met a policeman who could confirm the story'.
Cover-up at the autopsy chauffeur Diana?
John McNamara told how in three instances he was refused to be present at the investigation or verification of proof concerning the mystery of the chauffeur, Henri Paul. What McNamara did find out is that the statement that Paul was drunk was issued before his blood sample had been analyzed. In the documentary you see pictures of Paul, who just before departure sits on his haunches and ties his shoes; how he first does it to his one shoe, and then without problems shifts his weight to tie his other shoe; he stands up easily and does not appear at all under the influence of alcohol or drugs. During the two hours before departure that night he was in the company of the only survivor of the crash, Diana's bodyguard Trevor Reese-Jones. His lawyer states in the documentay that Reese-Jones would have never allowed Paul to leave if he had been under the influence. Paul's best friend Claude Garrec was present during the search of Paul's apartment after the crash and noticed how the agents were fixated on finding alcohol. They found two bottles, but the friend considered that a very normal supply. The agents did not pay attention to the 240 cans of Cola Light, Paul's favorite drink. Dodi's father, owner of Harrods, had the autopsy report of Paul checked by four specialists. They discovered 28 mistakes. Something else in the post mortem is the absurdly high level of carbon monoxide that Paul supposedly had in his blood: 20,7%; the question is if this percentage has been measured in Paul and was not made up or measured in one of the other corpses in the morgue. Breaking story of August 12, 2004: 'Probe in Diana car accident reopens - Toxicology tests on chauffeur may have been falsified', heads Associated Press.
It is remarkable that Paul takes a illogical route to the final destination, Dodi's apartment. He even drives in the opposite direction. It could have been a diversion, but also a sinister plan of the chauffeur. The lawyer of Reese-Jones calls this fact 'a mystery'.
Involvement of the British secret service?
In this documentary it is confirmed that Henri Paul had ties with the British secret service MI6. That is confirmed by Claude Garrec, Paul's best friend. He says that Paul also had connections with the Israeli secret service Mossad. In the documentary it is also told that papparazzo James Andanson (owner of a white Fiat Uno, see part two of this DaanSpeak series) has contacts at a high level. He was friends with, among others, the former prime minister of France, Jospin, and once spent three days on a yacht with mark you, Princess Diana. In the documentary, his ex-wife says that Andanson bragged to have been present at the crash of Diana and Dodi. Andanson was also the last person there with a man who short time later committed suicide: Pierre Bérégovoy, minister and adviser to the late President Mitterrand. Former MI6 spy Richard Tomlinson says in the documentary that during the time he still worked for MI6, he knew about a paparazzo who worked for the service on a contract basis. Secret services are often the owners of companies (think of Air America, a former airline company in the hands of the CIA) and they use people who just do their job, but who relay important information to the service for a fee.
Breaking story, June 2005: In the British TV program The Richard and Judy Show, Nicholas Davies, author of the book 'Diana - Secrets & Lies', says that Andanson was a MI5 agent. The same program tells that 'huge secret payments' have been made to Henri Paul, of which a third in the weeks previous to the accident on one or more of the thirteen accounts owned by Paul. The Herald Sun writes: 'The chauffeur who crashed the car in which Princess Diana died received almost $180,000 in the weeks leading up to the accident. The mystery payments to Henri Paul, who also died in the 1997 Paris tunnel car crash, dwarfed his annual $47,000 salary as a driver. The payments -- mostly from British banks -- were discovered by auditors assisting the UK investigation into Diana's death'. In The Richard and Judy Show, former MI5 agent and author Annie Machon says that Paul has the classical profile of a secret agent.