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British police rule out military involvement in Princess Diana death

Source: Reuters - Tue, 17 Dec 2013 08:50 AM
Author: Reuters
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(Recasts and adds police statement throughout)

LONDON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - British police on Tuesday ruled out reopening an investigation into the death of Princess Diana in a Paris car crash in 1997 after examining an accusation the elite SAS commando regiment was involved in her death.

London's Metropolitan Police said in August they were assessing new information about the deaths of Diana, Dodi al Fayed and their driver after a high speed car chase with paparazzi photographers through the streets of Paris.

Media reports at the time said the police had been passed new information from the parents-in-law of a former soldier.

"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," police said in a statement.

The police concluded that there "is no evidential basis upon which to open any criminal investigation".

The funeral of Diana, who had divorced heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles in 1996, brought huge crowds onto the streets of London.

Dodi's father, Mohammed al Fayed, the former owner of Harrods department store, alleged that the couple had been killed on the orders of the British establishment.

But an investigation by a former head of London police, John Stevens, concluded there was no evidence of murder and that their driver, Henri Paul, had been drunk and going too fast.

A 2008 inquest in London returned a verdict of unlawful killing and said Paul and the photographers were to blame for the deaths on Aug. 31 in a Paris tunnel but speculation has continued in tabloid newspapers of an assassination plot.

Investigators in France have also dismissed allegations of murder and in 2008 Mohammed al Fayed announced he was abandoning his 10-year campaign to prove the couple were murdered.

A Royal spokesman has said there would be no comment. (Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore, Belinda Goldsmith in London, Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Ralph Boulton)

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