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PROBE INTO DEATH OF A PRINCESS: DIANA POLICE TO 0 UIZ SCOTS EXPERTS; They fear death was not caused by drunk driving and Paul's blood sample came from someone else.

Byline: By BRENDAN McGINTY

TWO Scots scientists will be questioned by Scotland Yard over evidence that shows Princess Diana's death was NOT caused by drunk driving.

Senior officers believe a blood sample tested by French police did not belong to driver Henri Paul.

They say the levels of carbon monoxide found in the test would have meant Paul would have been unable to walk, never mind drive.

French police blame Henri's drink driving for the deaths of Princess Diana, 36, and boyfriend Dodi Fayed in Paris in August, 1997.

But a Scotland Yard investigation, ordered by a coroner, will examine evidence from two Scots-based forensic experts Peter Vanezis and John Oliver, of Glasgow University's forensic medicine department.

Both were commissioned by Dodi's father Mohammed Al Fayed to investigate the deaths.

And their reservations about the blood sample match those now expressed by police.

One theory is that Henri's sample was mixed up with that of the victim of a house fire who died of smoke inhalation.

Senior Scotland Yard sources still believe the deaths were accidental but are anxious to talk to Vanezis and Oliver about their research.

Al Fayed has already claimed Diana and Dodi were murdered but other independent investigations have concluded that there was no conspiracy.

Professor Vanezis yesterday told the Sunday Mail he did not want to comment as he expected to be called as a witness at the inquest.

Vanezis and Oliver, along with two French experts on Al Fayed's team, raised questions about the unusually high levels of carbon monoxide found in the sample.

The original test found Paul was three times over the French drinkdrive limit and the sample was said to contain traces of anti-depressant Prozac. The Ritz Hotel security official was seen by witnesses drink-ing on the night of the crash. But Paul's family have continually denied he was an alcoholic and said he would not have been drunk when he went behind the wheel.

Al Fayed's spokesman, Chester Stern, said: ``We have known of the doubts over the sample for years. If the police are starting to accept that, it is encouraging for Mr Al Fayed.

``What we want to know is this if the readings of alcohol and carbon monoxide in the sample are accuratehowcanthehighreadings of carbon monoxide be explained?''

The Al Fayed family have already released video footage which shows Paul climbing stairs, tying his lacesand walking around normally just hours before the death smash.

They have also pointed out that he passed a pilots' medical examination three days before the crash. His liver washealthy questioningclaims the chauffeur was an alcoholic.

Scotland Yard started their current investigation into Diana's death on the orders of Royal Coroner Michael Burgess.

It is being headed by Metropolitan commissioner John Stevens.

Professor Vanezis was first contacted by Mohammed al Fayed in the days after the accident.

He examined the first autopsy report and warned Paul's blood sample could have been contaminated.

French investigators dismissed the claims as ``ludicrous''. But in 1999,Cyprus-born Professor Vanezis compiled a new report, to be used at an inquest.

It was co-authored by Dr Oliver who said at the time: ``Carbon monoxide is one of the most insidious poisons we have.

``You can't detect it when you are breathing and it weakens the individual and causes confusion.

``Paul had a significant level but where it came from has not been explained. It has to be explained and so far it hasn't been.''

Professor Vanezis' pioneering work was used in evidence against Slobodan Milosevic during his war crimes trial in the Hague.

He was also asked by the Chilean government to investigate murders committed by the Pinochet regime.

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Blood samples: Professor Vanezis
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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jan 11, 2004
Words:616
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