Le Van Thanh claims French police said NOT to talk about Diana’s crash

Driver who ‘clipped Princess Diana’s Mercedes in his Fiat Uno’ moments before her fatal crash claims he was ordered by French police NOT to talk about the accident

  • Le Van Thanh has claimed he was ordered not to talk about the accident in Paris
  • He claims that when British police asked him to come to the UK to talk to them about the crash, some French officers instructed him not to go there
  • White paint on his vehicle matched that found on the wreckage of Diana’s car
  • Diana died after her car hit a pillar in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris in 1997 

The driver whose car is alleged to have clipped Princess Diana’s before her fatal crash in Paris has claimed he was ordered not to talk about the accident. 

Vietnamese-born Le Van Thanh spoke for the first time about claims that his white Fiat Uno was the vehicle that struck Diana’s Mercedes.

He claims that when British police asked him to come to the UK to talk to them about the crash, some French officers instructed him not to go there.

Diana died after her car hit a pillar in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris on August 31, 1997.

Vietnamese-born Le Van Thanh (pictured) spoke for the first time about claims that his white Fiat Uno was the vehicle that struck Diana’s Mercedes

During the crash Dodi Fayed and his driver Henri Paul were also killed and whilst Diana’s bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones survived, he was badly injured.

In 2006 Van Thanh’s father claimed that his son had his car repaired and resprayed later that day – leading investigators to believe it may have collided with Diana’s vehicle.   

White paint on his vehicle matched that found on the wreckage of Diana’s car and he was questioned by French police in 1997.  

Van Thanh has now finally been tracked down and has explained for the first time why he refused to come to the UK to assist police enquiries.

Van Thanh told a team writing a book on the crash that he would ‘receive’ Scotland Yard investigators if they wanted to talk to him, The Daily Star Sunday reports.  

He was told British investigators are still desperate to talk to him about the night of the accident.

He replied saying: ‘I know they will come. Several times they told me they would come back.

‘Because eventually they told me, ‘Yes, they will come’. They wanted me to go to England.

‘You know what the French police told me? ‘It’s not the same law as in France, don’t go there. Don’t go there’.  

Addressing the fact his white car was repainted red, he added: ‘The police report – they know why I repainted it. When you have no money and you have a damaged old car, what do you do?’

Van Thanh added that he felt ‘exonerated’ and ‘innocent’ over accusations he was involved in Diana’s death. 

Diana (pictured) died after her car hit a pillar in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris on August 31, 1997

During the crash Dodi Fayed and his driver Henri Paul were also killed and whilst Diana’s bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones survived, he was badly injured

Van Thanh’s new claim that French police ordered him not to cooperate has sparked calls for the investigation into Diana’s death to be reopened. 

Michael Mansfield QC, who represented Dodi’s father Mohamed Al-Fayed at Diana’s inquest, said: ‘There is a real question mark here because the French authorities were particularly anxious to ensure that it was blamed to the paparazzi.

‘He (Le Van Thanh) had the car resprayed. The Mercedes obviously did hit the Fiat. 

‘Whether that was an accident by the driver driving too fast into the tunnel or whether the Fiat Uno was in the wrong lane, I can’t take it beyond that.’

Former BBC royal correspondent Michael Cole said the journalists’ interview with Van Thanh should be passed to British and French authorities as part of a formal request to reopen the Diana inquest as a cold case.

He added: ‘As a matter of urgency, this information should be conveyed to an officer of the court.’

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