We could have prevented Dis crash: French policeman

November 23rd, 2007 - 1:00 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 23 (ANI): Princess Diana could have survived, had the British embassy informed the French authorities about her presence in Paris, the inquest into her death has heard.

Shortly after the 1997 car crash that killed Diana, an official of the France’s diplomatic protection service suggested that they may have been able to prevent the death of the princess had they been asked to provide surveillance, a British diplomat told the inquest.

Keith Moss, who was the British consul-general in Paris at the time, said the comment came from a French man whom he believed was associated with the protection service. Moss could not recall the man’s name or title.

Moss said the man approached him in an area of the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital where dignitaries, including the French president, had gathered after the crash.

“He described himself as being from the French equivalent of the Diplomatic Protection Group in the UK and he came over to me, introduced himself, and at some point in the conversation he asked me whether we had known the princess had been in France and if we did know, why his service hadn’t been informed, the Daily Mail quoted Moss, as saying.

“He then went on to say that, however informal, if a contact had been made with his organisation, through embassy facilities I suppose, then they would have conducted - if you like - discreet surveillance or security coverage during the time of her visit, he added.

Michael Mansfield QC, representing Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi also died in the crash, asked: “If they had known and if they had managed to make surveillance, however discreet, did he say words to the effect that this incident would possibly not have happened, did he say that to you?”

Moss replied: “That was the inference of what he was saying, yes.”

But he added: “I replied that as far as I was concerned, we were totally unaware of her visit to France.”

He said although he did not take the officers name he knew he worked for the French equivalent of Scotland Yards Diplomatic Protection Group.

He also revealed that British diplomats had not known Diana was in Paris that night until after the crash.

Moss had rushed to the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital to co-ordinate the British consular response to the crash while doctors were still battling to save her life.

Mansfield asked why Moss, who has since retired from the diplomatic service, never made a note of the French security man’s name.

“You recognise now, do you not, that it might have been quite significant to discover who this man was and how he thought he would have been able, had they been tipped off, even informally, how they might have prevented the death of the Princess of Wales? Moss replied.

“That’s a pretty important question, wasn’t it? It didn’t seem to be at the time, he added.

He also confirmed to the inquest in London that he believed the British security services had a base in Paris at the time of the tragedy on August 31 1997, but insisted he was not aware of their activities.

Al Fayed believes his son and the princess were killed by British agents working at the British Embassy in a plot he contends was directed by the Queen’s husband, Prince Philip. (ANI)

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