Mr Al Fayed is convinced the couple were murdered in an MI6 plot and that the crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel was orchestrated.
DIANA: SPIES WERE IN PARIS
By Jo Willey
British spies from M15 or M16 were operating out of Paris on the night Diana was killed in a car crash, her inquest heard yesterday.
Keith Moss, Britain’s former Consul-General in Paris, said he was aware of their presence but didn’t know why they were there.
Questioned by Michael Mansfield QC, representing Harrods boss Mohamed Al Fayed whose son Dodi died in the Paris crash, Mr Moss said he may even have unwittingly met them.
The jury has been told Mr Al Fayed is convinced the couple were murdered in an MI6 plot and that the crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel was orchestrated.
Mr Moss said he knew nothing of the activities of the security services, adding that there were issues over whether agents were “declared” to the local authorities.
In reply to questioning by Mr Mansfield, he said: “You asked me if I knew if there were officers from MI5 and MI6 posted to Paris. I know that there were officers from the security services there, but whether they were from MI5 or MI6, I do not know the differentiation.”
Earlier, the inquest was told that Princess Diana’s life might have been saved if French police had been tipped off that she was in Paris.
The claim came in a conversation Mr Moss had with a man who claimed he was from the French diplomatic protection unit.
The man approached Mr Moss inside the Pitie-Salpatriere Hosp-ital in the hours after Diana’s death and said French officers could have carried out secret surveillance during her visit to Paris. Mr Moss, number two to ambassador Sir Michael Jay on the day Diana died – August 31, 1997 – said the man approached him outside the room where her body was being kept while VIPs including President Jacques Chirac paid their last respects.
He told the inquest: “He asked me whether we knew that the Princess had been in France and if we did know, why hadn’t his service been informed.
“He then went on to say that, if a contact had been made with his organisation, then they would have conducted discreet surveillance or security coverage during her visit.”
Mr Mansfield asked: “If they had known and made surveillance, did he say words to the effect that this incident would possibly not have happened?”
Mr Moss replied: “That was the inference of what he was saying to me, yes. I replied that as far as I was concerned, we were totally unaware of her visit to France or the fact that she was in Paris.”
Mr Mansfield asked why Mr Moss had not reported the conversation.
He said: “You recognise now, do you not, that it might have been quite significant to discover who this man was and how he thought he would have been able, had they been tipped off, how they might have prevented her death. That’s a pretty important question.”
But Mr Moss insisted: “It didn’t seem to be at the time.”
He passed on the man’s remarks to the ambassador a few moments later but said he did not record it in a statement at the time.
Mr Moss admitted he sanctioned Diana’s embalming after consultation with the UK but could not remember with whom.