London: Two leading former British policemen appeared before a French enquiry to explain why they withheld vital clues about Princess Diana’s fatal car accident.
Lord Condon, former Met Police Commissioner, and Sir David Veness, ex-Scotland Yard anti- terror chief allegedly did not disclose the existence of a note in which Diana predicted her assassination.
The note, taken by Diana’s lawyer Lord Mishcon, was handed to the officers a few months after the 1997 Paris tunnel crash, which also claimed the lives of Dodi Fayed, Diana’s boyfriend and son of tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed, and the pair’s chauffeur Henri Paul, the Daily Express reported.
The lawyer’s document records the line: “Efforts would be made if not to get rid of her (be it by some accident in her car, such as a pre-prepared brake failure or whatever)...at least to see that she was so injured or damaged as to be declared unbalanced.”
It was six years before it surfaced that the officers had locked the note in Lord Condon’s safe at Scotland Yard. When Lord Condon stood down, his successor, Lord Stevens, who also faces possible questioning by the French authorities, also failed to reveal its existence.
In France, “removing or concealing” evidence, which could “facilitate the discovery of a crime”, is punishable by up to five years’ jail.
A Paris-based Judge Gerard Caddeo started off with the investigations following concerns by Mohamed Al Fayed about the handling of the Diana note.
“Mr Al Fayed has always maintained that the evidence of Lord Mishcon has been concealed from the British coroner and the French authorities,” A source close to the French inquiry said on Wednesday.
“It is his belief that the police officers sat on it for six years until they were forced to disclose it following the revelations of Diana’s butler Paul Burrell.
“The Lord Mishcon note is part of the ongoing French judicial process headed by Judge Caddeo. Ever since the evidence of the note was revealed Mr Al Fayed has pressed the French authorities to investigate those responsible for its suppression,” the source added.