Diana, Princess of Wales, who was killed on August 31 1997 in a car crash in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris (John Stillwell/PA Wire)
Failing to track down a white Fiat Uno that may have been in the tunnel on the night Princess Diana was killed in a car crash is a lasting “frustration” of the French inquiry into her death, investigators say.
Diana was 36 when she was killed in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997, and her death has continued to attract conspiracy theories over the decades.
Detectives from the 1997 French Brigade Criminelle have told a Channel 4 documentary, Investigating Diana: Death In Paris, the driver could have helped explain the movements of the black Mercedes she was travelling in.
“The whole of the world has struggled to accept that the Princess of Wales died in a mundane accident,” said Martine Monteil, head of the Brigade Criminelle.
“I have frustration about the Fiat Uno because I like a well-finished business.
“For sure, it’s out there. Unfortunately we don’t have it.
“But you know the driver of the Fiat Uno, he’s not the real culprit.
“He’s driving along quietly and then a Mercedes arrives at high speed and bumps into him. The responsibility remains with the Mercedes.”
The black Mercedes Diana and her partner Dodi Al Fayed were travelling in was being pursued by the paparazzi after they left the Ritz Hotel in Paris.
It crashed in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel.
Undated handout photo issued by Channel 4 from the documentary Investigating Diana: Death in Paris of the Alma tunnel in Paris (Sandpaper Films/Channel 4/PA Wire)
Fayed, 41, son of Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, and driver Henri Paul died.
Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones survived.
A couple at the scene saw a white Fiat Uno coming out of the tunnel with a driver who was focused on his mirrors, the investigators said.
The couple described a brown-skinned man with short hair and a dog wearing a muzzle being in the car.
Traces of white paint were found on the black car and its tail light was broken.
Fabrice Cuvillier, of the Brigade Criminelle, says the Fiat Uno exists, telling the program: “It’s not a hallucination. It’s not something we threw out to create a diversion. It exists.
“We did not find this Fiat.
“But it would be dishonest of me to look you in the eye and say ‘we didn’t let the Fiat Uno slip through’.
“I don’t think so, but I’m not 100 per cent sure.”
Eric Gigou, of the Brigade Criminelle, said “we did everything we could to understand what happened” and more than 1000 people were interviewed in the investigation by the French authorities.
“In my mind the only door that remains open is the testimony of the driver of the Fiat Uno,” he told the documentary.
Diana’s death became the subject of many conspiracy theories, from claims by Dodi’s father that the couple were murdered in a plot hatched by MI6 on the orders of the Duke of Edinburgh, to suggestions Diana was pregnant.
Other theories centred on the lack of CCTV footage from the tunnel and the mysterious white Fiat Uno, which is said to have come into contact with the Mercedes, but which has never been traced.
Ten years after the crash, an inquest found the princess was unlawfully killed because driver Henri Paul was drunk and driving too fast, the car was being chased by photographers and Diana and Dodi might have survived had they been wearing seatbelts.
© PAA 2022