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Express Claims Diana's Seatbelt May Have Been 'Sabotaged' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Joanne Leyland   
Tuesday, 25 April 2006
Tuesday's Daily Express is reporting that members of the official British team looking into the crash which killed Diana are investigating claims the Princess's seatbelt may have been sabotaged.



According to the paper, detectives involved in Operation Paget — the name of the official British investigation into the car crash which killed the Princess, Dodi and Henri Paul — are "examining evidence that fastening pins were filed down". If true (the emphasis being on 'if') this would have resulted in Diana not being able to click her seatbelt into place, an act which would have probably saved her life when the Mercedes she was travelling in crashed into the thirteenth pillar in the Paris underpass.

The Express, which it should be noted has been mocked in some quarters for it's "obsession" with Diana 'conspiracy theories', quotes a lawyer close to the British investigation: "The safety belt issue is crucial. We've all been in the back of a car and found a faulty buckle, but the fact that both Diana and Dodi's belts appeared not to be working is extremely sinister. Without the belts they had no chance of surviving the crash."

The paper goes on to make much of the fact that Diana was often pictured fastening her seatbelt when she got into a car, although it should perhaps be noted that they don't note that during her life the Princess was criticised more than once by road safety campaigners for failing to buckle up.

While Diana always made sure William and Harry were safely buckled up in the car, for the number of photographs the Express print today showing Diana wearing a seatbelt there are, it should be noted, numerous more (plus film footage) showing her not wearing a seatbelt.

Having said that, considering the huge amount of photographs and video which exists of the Princess over 16 years, it is only natural that (as is the case with the majority of people) there were occasions when Diana simply forgot to fasten her seatbelt, or waited to do so once out of view of the cameras.


However, it is untrue to claim that Diana always used a seatbelt. For instance, arriving at an official engagement in the mid-1990s, the Princess was subjected to much criticism and many negative headlines when a camera crew clearly showed that she was not wearing a seatbelt in the back of her official car during an incident which saw the royal vehicle involved in a low-speed bump (rather than a crash) with an accompanying police car.



 
Nevertheless, the Daily Express appears convinced that something is amiss, the paper quoting a Paris mechanic, Raymond Hasse, who explains how easily a seatbelt can be tampered with: "Rear seat belts are often unused, and therefore unchecked, which means they can be sabotaged long before an intended victim gets into the car."

"The buckles are notoriously sensitive and, worst of all, can be altered so that they appear to click shut when, in fact, they've not. Safety belt buckles go all the time, which also rids a saboteur of any suspicion."

The paper goes on to explain how a filed down seatbelt buckle would still click, as if safely secured, and reminds readers that the Mercedes carrying the Princess had been stolen several months before the fatal crash on August 31st 1997.

Although this aspect of the investigation makes for a sensational headline (just one of many which the Express continues to somewhat controversially run on an almost daily basis), the paper does acknowledge in the latter part of the report that detectives have been examining the crashed Mercedes from "top to bottom", which surely goes to show that every aspect of the crash is under investigation, with the chief investigator, Sir John Stevens, and his team not having yet ruled anything in or out. Therefore it's perhaps only to be expected that the seatbelt mechanisms have been duly investigated?
 

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Name: Rhenae Comment:
I would not put it past Phillip to have had Diana murdered. I do believe that she was. The motive for her death was that she was, in the royals eyes, embarrassing the royals and supporting the landmines. Phillip called Dodi all kinds of names and he did not want William and Harry to have a half sibling that was Muslim.
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Name: jj Comment:
What sick minds some people have to think that a grandfather would have the mother of his grandsons murdered. What motive could he possibly have?

The Press were on Diana's case for some months before she died. The UK tabloids love to build up people but they enjoy tearing them down even more and they had Diana firmly in their sights.

As for the murder theory, I do not buy it. So many people would have to be in the know someone would have squealed by now, especially for a slice of the millions Fayed has on offer to prove his son was murdered.
IP Logged as: 195.93.21.65 HomePage: http:// Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; AOL 9.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1) Dated: 2006-04-28 18:57:57 Report This Comment

Name: Laura Comment:
Why is it so unbelievable to think she wasn't murdered? We'll never know and who will admit it publicly if she was?
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Name: Queen Baby Jane Comment:
Why is it so unbelievable to any of you to imagine that Diana was murdered?!?!! The car was stolen a few months before the 'accident'. IT is entirely possible to imagine that MI6 could have rigged the car to speed off without the control of the driver at a precise time.
And to all of you who think Prince Phillip isn't nasty enough to commandeer something so evil than you're really stupid! All he would have had to say to the right person was something to the effect of "What do I have to do to rid us of this troubling woman?" All done with a wink and a nod...
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Name: Anyacat Comment:
I have no idea whether Diana regularly wore a seat belt. She wasn't wearing one on that fateful night. However, as someone here noted, the conspiracy theorists are in overdrive on this one, so the fact that someone said that someone hear that Diana always wore a seat belt so she must have had one on that night which was conveniently damaged will, I am sure, become part of the lore. Oh, wait, I forgot the part in which Phillip, having nothing better to do with his night, was behind it all....blue-smiley
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Name: Laura Comment:
Yes, Diana did wear a seat belt from the mid nineties onwards. But that was only when she was publicly shamed, during the middle of a campaign, when she was listed as one of the more famous people who did not wear a seatbelt. And before that campaign it was not Diana's habit to wear a seatbelt particulary in the back of the car. What happened on that night I don't know. Personaly I believe that in the hubbub, she forgot to put it on.
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Name: Mrs Coombs Comment:
Laura, Whilst you state that you have a snap from the early 1980s, that does not in anyway support your theory that Diana did not, in the years immediately prior to and including 1997, make it a practice to buckle up. Your point is moot. I repeat my statement re the safety belt alarm system on that car--IT WOULD HAVE GONE OFF LIKE CRAZY IF THE SEATBELTS WERE OPERATIVE BUT UNFASTENED!! No wonder they did not want Mercedes to have a look at the car!
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Name: Jacqueline Comment:
According to Paul Burrell he used to buckle up HRH Princess Diana...maybe she just got use to someone doing it for her and forgot...or perhaps she felt safe with Dodi...the fact is we will never know why she didn't buckle up, nor will any of this bring her back...
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Name: Laura Comment:
Yes, Mrs Coombs she did buckle up but AFTER the government campaign to wear seatbelts in the back revealed that she was one of the more prominent people who did not wear seatbelts, front or back. I have a papparazzi photograph from the early 1980's when she was spotted driving down Oxford Street when she certainly didn't have a belt on and other pictures that show her not to have her belt on and they were pictures that were taken mid journey not at departure or arrival. This is all the more worrying because Diana apparantly, liked speed but was not a particulary good driver, thus Ken Wharfe's comment that when he first heard of the crash thought it was Diana herself that was driving.
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Name: Mrs Coombs Comment:
The alarm system in this automobile would have indicated quite strongly if ANY seatbelt was not on, IF they had been working properly! By the time this particular car was manufactured, utilizing seatbelts was all the rage and alarms and lights were part of the electronic system!! We certainly know that, as a Mother, Diana did buckle up more often than not, no matter what those who would have us believe her death was an accident say. Finally, remember not only did she predict her death by a road accident less than a year before she died, she told Ingrid Seward the very same thing in June of 1997 (see Seward's 2003 Mirror article), just weeks before she was killed!!
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Name: Morag Clark Comment:
As with nearly everything in the Daily Express these days about the investigation into Diana's death - this is NOT a new story. We heard it a few years ago.
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Name: Lisa Comment:
It is important to remember that Diana wasn't even supposed to be in that car- the one they had used all day was parked out front. Maybe they need to see if those seatbelts were filed down as well, just to be on the safe side. I just think she usually wore her seatbelt and didn't that night. Things were happening at such a rapid pace, it was forgotten.
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Name: Muriel Comment:
There are still people out there trying to find out who "really" killed President Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe too! I don't suppose it'll ever end, unfortunately.
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Name: Laura Comment:
This report by the Daily Express is very interesting but, also, misleading at the same time.

No, Diana didn't always wear her seatbelt. In a scrapbook that I have from 1993 or 1994, that picture of Diana in the green dress was used in another report, I think from the now defunct Today newspaper, where it was claimed that she NEVER wore her seatbelt. In fact, Diana was criticised for not wearing it, particulary during a time when the government was encouraging people to 'belt up in the back'. That picture of her in the green dress was widely published because it was the first sight of her buckling up after the furore surrounding the fact that she didn't use seatbelts.

But, that is a example of how pictures can be used for more then one reason, I guess.

It's a shame though that any pictures that were taken on the speed camera or by a photographer just before the crash are not available. I guess that could clear up a lot of trouble.
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