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French police speak out for first time since Princess Diana's death

Lucy Devine

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| Last updated 

French police speak out for first time since Princess Diana's death

Featured Image Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

French detectives have spoken out for the first time since Princess Diana's death in August 1997.

In a new Channel 4 documentary, Investigating Diana: Death In Paris, detectives who worked on the investigation over 20 years ago have discussed the case for the first time.

Diana passed away in 1997. Credit: MediaPunch Inc/Alamy Stock Photo
Diana passed away in 1997. Credit: MediaPunch Inc/Alamy Stock Photo

Eric Gigou, of the Brigade Criminelle, told cameras how the route Diana took was 'reconstructed' to search for clues.

“We reconstructed the route they took, tried to discover all the witnesses, anyone who could have seen or heard anything near or far, people who might have crossed paths with the car, seen motorcycles, seen something in the minutes or seconds before the crash, perhaps at the moment of the impact or after the impact," he said.

“For us it is a race against time from the moment we were given the case, because human memory is volatile and over time memories fade.”

Diana tragically died in the car accident in Paris at the age of just 36. Credit: richard mildenhall/Alamy Stock Photo
Diana tragically died in the car accident in Paris at the age of just 36. Credit: richard mildenhall/Alamy Stock Photo

The first of the four-part documentary also tells the story of driver Henri Paul, and discussed the allegations that he was over the limit at the time of the crash.

Speaking about the various newspaper headlines on this at the time, Gigou added: “In France, our investigations are secret, nothing is revealed to the press. Every day there were articles with pseudo-revelations, some magazines were living off these ‘scoops’.

"... When you look at the CCTV from the Ritz, Mr Paul is behaving normally. He does not stagger, he seems normal. If Henri Paul had stumbled or been incoherent he would never have got behind the wheel. Did someone ask Henri to drive faster, I don’t know. No one knows.”

Police chief Martine Monteil spoke about finding 'pearls' at the scene of the crash site. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo
Police chief Martine Monteil spoke about finding 'pearls' at the scene of the crash site. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

Meanwhile, police chief Martine Monteil spoke about finding 'pearls' at the scene of the crash site, believed to have belonged to Princess Diana.

Monteil was one of the first to arrive at the scene, explaining she had been looking for the tiniest details.

"We started to find these little clues," she said.

"We saw signs of braking. Pieces of red light from another car. On the side of the car were traces of paint. I was obsessed with finding things because it's important.

"I even found some tiny pearls. They belonged to the Princess."

Diana tragically died in the car accident in Paris at the age of just 36. Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul were both killed in the crash.

The next episode of Investigating Diana: Death In Paris will air on Channel 4 on Monday 22 August at 9pm.

Topics: News, TV And Film

Lucy Devine
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