Lots of News But Few Facts

cafe saint-severin
Café Le Saint-Séverin in the Latin Quarter.

Diana and Dodi's Fatal Crash Remains Mystery
While Investigation Continues

Paris:- Saturday, 6. September 1997:- Following the tragic deaths of Princess Diana, Emad Mohamed 'Dodi' al Fayed and their chauffeur in a car crash in the tunnel under the place de l"Alma early Sunday night a week ago, there has been an awful lot of news, but few reliable facts have emerged about the exact circumstance of the fatal accident.

The only survivor, Mr. al Fayed's bodyguard, Mr. Trevor Liberation title Rees-Jones is still in serious condition in hospital and if he has been able to say anything, it has not been reported in public.

The investigating judge, Hervé Stéphan, after initially charging six photo-journalists and a press motorcyclist with manslaughter, later in the week had another three to contend with - who surrendered to police.

Libération's front page last Monday.

The driver of the bulletproofed Mercedes S280, Henri Paul, had worked for the Hotel Ritz for 11 years in the security service there. It was reported that he had taken a special driver's course organized by Mercedes. Early in the week investigators told the press that Mr. Paul had been found to have a high blood-alcohol content at the time of the accident.

However, Friday night's TV news broadcast video clips made by the Hotel Ritz' security cameras on the evening immediately preceding the accident, which seemed to show Mr. Paul acting normally and not as if he'd taken in 'four double whiskeys.'

The arrested photographers had little to say after their releases; but their employers relayed their stories to the press. On the night of the Le Parisien title accident, it was decided to use the Ritz' number one driver and car - a Mercedes 600 - as a decoy in front of the hotel in the place Vendôme - while the Princess and Mr. al Fayed slipped out a rear exit to the backup car to be driven by Mr. Paul.

Le Parisien's front page today.

In this way many of the photo- journalists waiting in front of the hotel were deceived - and some of those at the accident scene arrived there by chance rather than by following the car.

It was also reported that the speedometer of the wrecked Mercedes was stuck at a little less than 200 kph. Mr. Paul was a regular driver for Mr. al Fayed and the Princess, and had evaded pursuing 'paparazzi' several times during their visits in Paris.

Le Parisien used 19 pages to feature the story from Monday to Thursday, and devoted another seven today, the day of the funeral in London.

The annual mass return-to-school in France and a serious gas explosion in an apartment building Thursday morning pushed the story out of the paper on Friday. An ad for a 'Lady Diana - Princess of Wales' memorial coin appeared in Friday's edition.

Television coverage of the funeral in London today was complete and ran more or less non-stop all day.

Blackshirts in Vitrolles

The mayor of Vitrolles, Catherine Mégret of the Front National Party, has accused the national police stationed in the town and responsible for its security, of being lax and inactive.

To remedy this, the town has hired municipal police, outfitted them with black uniforms, assault boots and .357 magnum pistols - but they can legally do no more than give warnings for irregular parking.

Regular police unions are not happy with the situation and the local police chief is saying nothing for the moment other than that minor crime had already declined for months before the arrival of the 'blackshirts.'

la rentreeThe End of the American Dream

Last week Le Parisien marked the 30th anniversary of the withdrawal of NATO and American troops from the Paris region. The Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Powers in Europe closed its doors in the western suburb of Louveciennes on 30. March 1967, and many of the 6,000 associated with it moved to Belgium.

Now it's official - Metropole Paris is back too.
In Metropole Paris
Latest Issue
2008 Issues
2007 | 2006 | 2005
2004 | 2003 | 2002
2001 | 2000 | 1999
1998 | 1997 | 1996
In Metropole Paris
About Metropole
About the Café Club
Links | Search Site
The Lodging Page
Paris Museums List
Metropole's 1996 Tours
Metropole's 2003 Tours
Support Metropole
Metropole's Books
Shop with Metropole
Metropole's Wine
metropole paris goodblogweek button
Send email concerning the
contents to: Ric Erickson, Editor.
Metropole Midi © 2014
– unless stated otherwise.
logo, metropole sml midi logo No matter how good it tastes,
there is no such thing
as a free lunch.
Waldo Bini