Al Fayed Offers Big Reward
For Diana Crash Details
By Amanda Ursell
PARIS - The father of Princess Diana's companion Dodi Al Fayed is offering a reward of up to 10 million francs ($1.7 million) for information on the crash in which they died in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997, his lawyer said on Tuesday.
A newspaper ad promised the reward for information that would help identify a mysterious Fiat Uno, two motorcycles or any other vehicle that may have been involved in the crash.
The offer also applied for any other witnesses who had not yet testified in the inquiry.
"Serious people who have kept silent for reasons we do not know could testify now because of the reward," Mohammed Al Fayed's lawyer Georges Kiejman said.
Investigators have concluded Diana's Mercedes S-280 brushed against a white Fiat Uno car just before the crash in a Paris underpass, sending the limousine skidding into a pillar in the tunnel under the Alma Bridge along the Seine River.
But neither the mysterious Uno nor its owner have ever been located, leaving this angle of the inquiry up in the air.
Kiejman said the informants would have to give precise details such as the registration number of the vehicles.
The quarter of a page ad, in the tabloid France-Soir, said the identity of possible informants would be kept secret.
Investigating magistrate Herve Stephan ended last month his 17-month-long probe, giving all parties involved until Feb. 18 to request further lines of investigation.
Al Fayed, a wealthy Egyptian businessman, has accused the British secret services of plotting to prevent his Muslim son from marrying the mother of Britain's future king, Prince William.
Stephan has placed nine photographers and a photo agency motorcyclist under examination for manslaughter on suspicion that they contributed to the crash by chasing Diana's car, and for failing to give assistance to the victims.
The 10 have denied all responsibility for the crash.
Investigators say they uncovered no evidence to support the theory that Diana was the victim of a conspiracy.
They say driver Henri Paul, who also died in the crash, appears primarily to blame as he was driving at two to three times the legal speed limit and had a criminal level of alcohol in his blood when he lost control of the car.
The state prosecutor's office, in a possible hint at the probe's eventual conclusions, referred to the crash as an "accident."