SAS troops: 'Princess Diana was killed in a murder plot, but we didn't do it'
SAS troops are convinced Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed were murdered, it was revealed yesterday.
By: John Twomey
Published: Sat, September 7, 2013
Soldiers serving with the elite regiment at the time are certain their deaths in a Paris car crash were not accidental.
However, they are sceptical of claims that fellow members of the regiment were involved.
Far from dismissing reports of a cover-up as a conspiracy theory, many SAS men feel there are too many unanswered questions.
A source said: "There has always been a view among certain members of the regiment that Diana's death was not an accident. It is not a view shared by everyone but there is a core of soldiers who believe she was killed.
"When you are planning a military operation you have to train and practise every step of the mission and even then things can go wrong. Look at all the factors involved in Diana's death. For that to be passed off as an accident just doesn't ring true."
Diana, 36, Dodi, 42, and their chauffeur Henri Paul, 41, were killed when their Mercedes crashed into the 13th pillar of the Pont de l'Alma underpass in Paris on August 31, 1997.
Scotland Yard is assessing sensational claims that the SAS was involved in the deaths which were officially caused by the grossly negligent driving of Mr Paul and that of the pursuing paparazzi.
Last week two detectives questioned the estranged wife of Soldier N, the former SAS sergeant at the centre of the allegations. She is understood to have given police a "detailed and compelling" account of the claims allegedly made by her husband.
Crucially, she is believed to have assured officers that the ex-SAS sniper described the alleged plot to her several times before the break-up of their marriage.
Soldier N apparently claimed Mr Paul was blinded by an intense flash of light moments before he lost control of the Mercedes.
The claim appears to support evidence from an ex-MI6 officer at the inquest into Diana and Dodi's death. He told the hearing he was aware of a colleague's proposal to kill Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic by using a beam of fierce light in a tunnel to blind a driver and cause him to crash.
The MI6 man revealed the existence of a shadowy unit known as The Increment, comprised of troops from the SAS and SBS, whose purpose is to carry out lethal operations on behalf of MI6.
The wife of Soldier N was interviewed by Detective Chief Inspector Philip Easton, who worked on the multi-million-pound inquiry into Diana and Dodi's deaths codenamed Operation Paget. Mr Easton and a colleague met her and her mother last week.
The two detectives questioned them about a letter written by Soldier N's mother-in-law in September 2011 which referred to the alleged plot involving the SAS.
It was made public after the court martial of SAS sergeant Danny Nightingale in July. Both men were prosecuted for unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition discovered at the home they shared in Hereford close to the SAS's headquarters.
Soldier N admitted the charges and was jailed for two years by a military court last year. He was released in July and discharged from the Army. He is set to be questioned by Mr Easton.
SAS top brass have ordered serving members of the regiment to cut all ties with Soldier N.
The claims attributed to him are regarded by senior officers as the most damaging in the SAS's illustrious 70-year history. However, insiders say Soldier N is unlikely to be totally ostracised.
There is sympathy for the plight of the man who served his country for 20 years. Many SAS soldiers have illegally kept guns and ammunition at unsecured private homes over the years.
An amnesty on unlawful weapons in the wake of the arrests of Soldier N and Danny Nightingale is said to have resulted in a large quantity of guns and ammo being handed in.
The SAS has launched a inquiry into how the regiment became embroiled in the allegations.
Commanders want to know when the sensational claim first surfaced and who in the regiment knew about it. Officers have also been ordered to find out what action was taken against the soldier who allegedly made the boast.
General Sir Peter Wall, head of the British Army, is said to be furious that the SAS's reputation has been tarnished.
Sources close to General Wall said the controversy was "the most embarrassing and potentially damaging event in the regiment's 70-year history".
One officer called it a "fiasco" for a regiment "supposed to operate in the shadows".