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Author Topic: Diana inquest: Henri Paul's parents were told he wasn't drunk  (Read 66 times)


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Diana inquest: Henri Paul's parents were told he wasn't drunk
Last updated at 23:49 03 October 2007

Henri Paul
Lord Stevens told Henri Paul's grieving parents that their son had not been drinking heavily on the night of the crash only because they were upset at accusations he had been as 'drunk as a pig'.

His remarks were contradicted a month later in the offical Operation Paget report into the tragedy which concluded Diana and Dodi died because Paul was drunk and speeding.

The clash has been seized on by Mohamed al Fayed who says it is proof that 'Establishment' figures want to cover up their murders.

Yesterday, however, the coroner revealed that the former police chief's comments had been taken out of context.

He had, he said, only been trying to 'reassure' Jean and Gisele Paul who had been deeply upset by newspaper reports that he was an alcoholic who had been drinking heavily in the hours before the accident.

He also confirmed that tests had shown Paul was twice the French drink drive limit and traces of Prozac were found in his blood.

Lord Justice Scott Baker said: "Henri Paul was the acting head of security at The Ritz Hotel.

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It is alleged he worked for security services in France or in the UK and was instrumental in carrying out the plan, either inadvertently or otherwise, to have Diana and Dodi murdered in the underpass - a plan which, of course, resulted in his own death.

"It is further said that it was publicly and erroneously put about that he was unfit to drive through drink in order to cover up the real cause of the crash.

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diana crash scene inquest pictures
"Henri Paul's role and his actions leading up to the crash in the early hours of Sunday 31 August are critical to assessing the conspiracy to murder allegations."

As acting head of security at the Ritz, the 41-year-old worked closely with both Dodi Fayed and Mohamed, though he was not normally used as a driver. He joined the hotel in 1986 and had been in his new job for just two months when he died.

He was described by fellow employees as a conscientious member of staff who, the coroner said, "would find it difficult to say No".

On the night of the accident, Paul left work at 7pm but was called back after Diana and Dodi unexpectedly returned to the hotel.

No-one has ever been able to fill in what he did during those "missing hours".

What is beyond doubt, however, is that Paul was seen in the bar of the Ritz Hotel between 10pm and midnight consuming at least two glasses of Ricard, an aniseed liqueur.

And while there is no evidence to prove that he had consumed any alcohol before then, it was perfectly likely as at that stage Paul did not know he would be called back to work - let alone to drive his boss's car.

Tests carried out on blood and other body samples after his death indicate that Paul was twice the legal limit when he died.

These range between 1.74g to 1.87grammes per litre of blood. The legal limit in France is 0.5 per litre.

Further tests showed that Paul had been taking a cocktail of drugs including prozac to combat depression and sleeping pills for insomnia.

His close friend and doctor, Dominic Melo, has told how he also prescribed him Aotol, a drug to stop cravings for alcohol after Paul said he had become concerned about his drinking and was suffering feelings of 'isolation'.

Mr al Fayed, the court heard, firmly believes that Paul's samples were tampered with or swopped with those of an unnamed person, although DNA tests have proved they were from him.

What does continue to puzzle investigators, however, is the level of carbon dioxide in his blood.

Although this could have been affected by smoking, levels of the gas in the driver's blood samples were 'very high', more than 20 per cent.

Lord Justice Scott Baker admitted yesterday that Paul should have shown noticeable signs of impairment before his death. "If the sample is from him, how did it get to that level?" he said.

He also outlined outstanding questions about Paul's finances at the time of his death. In his pockets were a surprising 12,565 French francs - around 1,256 --while a further 170,000 was discovered in several bank accounts. His salary at The Ritz was around 1,500 a month.

Mr al Fayed claims this is proof that he was an intelligence informant. Paul's mother, however, says hotel clients tipped him lavishly.

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Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-485544/Diana-inquest-Henri-Pauls-parents-told-wasnt-drunk.html#ixzz4p4XGF2DS
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