THE driver of a mystery white Fiat Uno was responsible for Princess Diana’s death, claims the detective who led the inquiry into the crash that killed her.
Jean Claude Mules, who ran the initial French investigation, said his officers found compelling evidence that the car carrying Diana and Dodi Fayed collided with the Fiat seconds before it crashed.
If officers had been able to trace the driver they would have “had their killer”, he added. As Britain today marks the 10th anniversary of Diana’s death, Mr Mules’s comments will re-ignite anger that the Fiat Uno driver has never been traced.
They will also intensify claims that both the French and British investigations into the crash were failures. And they will fuel the fears of those who believe that Diana, Dodi and driver Henri Paul were killed in an Establishment plot. MI5 and MI6 agents were known to be on the ground that night.
The Fiat was spotted entering the tunnel at the same time as Diana’s car. The failure to find the driver — or the Uno itself — has given rise to numerous theories, including the possibility that the Princess’s car was targeted by a secret service assassin who forced her vehicle to crash.
Two men were named as possibly being the drivers — paparazzi photographer James Andanson, who has since died in mysterious circumstances, and French-Vietnamese security guard Le Van Thanh, who continues to deny any involvement.
Mr Mules said yesterday: “It’s a good thing that we didn’t actually find the owner of the white Fiat Uno, otherwise he would have become the Princess’s killer.”
Mr Mules was senior commander of the elite Paris Criminal Brigade, which originally gathered evidence into the crash in the French capital. In the early hours of August 31, 1997 — soon after Diana’s Mercedes ploughed into a pillar in the Alma tunnel — Mr Mules found compelling evidence that the luxury saloon had collided with a white Fiat Uno seconds before impact.
Yet, 10 years on and despite extensive searches all over France, the Uno and its driver are still unaccounted for. “We found that there were approximately 7,000 to 8,000 Fiat Unos and we examined 5,500 of them,” said Mr Mules, who was speaking in Paris where he is now retired.
“We checked all their cars and their owners, who had to tell us exactly where they were on the night of the crash, but we never found it.”
The inability of the French police to find the Uno driver was highlighted in the British report into Diana’s death, published last December.
It was also a subject to which Lord Justice Scott Baker, who is due to preside over the reconvened inquest into Diana’s death as coroner later this year, said he wanted to return.
At a preliminary hearing at London’s High Court last month, the coroner said the whereabouts of the Uno driver was one of the key questions which he said would help him to make a decision on whether the Princess was murdered.