Joined: 13 Feb 2006
|Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:06 am Post subject: Now Diana’s driver may be exhumed
|Now Diana’s driver may be exhumed
Daily Express Weekend
26 Feb 2006
Don’t let them desecrate the grave of our dear son Parents of Di death crash driver in plea over new tests.
From Jack Gee in Paris
THE parents of Henri Paul, the driver blamed for the car crash that killed Princess Diana, have appealed to the Queen to prevent his body being exhumed.
New tests by pathologists would establish once and for all whether he was drugged or drunk.
But the elderly couple were aghast at the prospect yesterday and said they intend to launch a legal campaign to clear their son’s name.
Henri’s father Jean said: “We are horrified by possible moves that would desecrate our son’s grave. We would be powerless to stop it happening. Nobody must profane his last place of rest.”
Jean and his wife Gisele said they would put their faith in the influence of Mohamed Al Fayed – whose son Dodi died alongside Paul and the Princess – to oppose the move.
They added that they had instructed lawyers to act to salvage the driver’s reputation and leave his grave untouched. He is buried in Lorient, a naval base on Britanny’s Atlantic coast near the couple’s home.
They said they expected Mr Al Fayed to back their legal moves.
The Pauls will also try to force French authorities to turn over blood samples taken during an autopsy into his death for independent analysis and DNA testing. The authorities have refused to release them. But facing potential pressure from the British coroner, they might order the exhumation of the driver for investigation by British pathologists, according to court officials in Paris.
The French authorities ordered that Henri should be buried rather than cremated in case his body ever needed to be exhumed for tests.
Jean said: “We also hope the Queen will take a stand. She may not have liked the Princess. But as a mother, she knows how parents can suffer in such a terrible situation.”
The Pauls believe the blood samples used to prove their son was drunk on the night of the crash were mixed up in a busy Paris morgue and do not belong to their him.
Gisele said: “We’re certain that our son wasn’t drunk. We don’t accept it.”
She said 30 autopsies on corpses were done at the Paris morgue on the night Paul’s body was taken there.
“You can imagine how they could have been mixed up. The pathologists said his liver was in perfect condition and we would have known, we would have seen, if he had been drinking. On August 28, 1997, he passed his medical exam for his pilot’s licence. Everything was fine. Three days later he was labelled an alcoholic,” she added.
Mr Al Fayed has always contested the French court’s findings, which exonerated photographers who were pursuing the Princess’s car on the night of the crash on August 31, 1997.
He said he had been refused permission for his own scientists to test the samples and remained convinced that the blood sample was switched. The Pauls insist that the high level of carbon monoxide found in the tested blood would have made Henri incapable of walking, much less driving.
Jean said: “The impression left was that our son was Princess Diana’s assassin. That’s false.”
But the blood tests were not the only evidence pointing to his intoxication. Hair samples showed he had been drinking for at least a week and took prescription drugs for months.
Officials at the Paris morgue, who have kept their lips sealed since the tragedy, again refused to comment.
Diana, Princess of Wales is and always will be The People's Princess.