Henri Paul

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Person.png Henri Paul  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(Head of Security at Hôtel Ritz Paris)
Henri paul.png
Lorient, Brittany, France
Died1997-08-31 (Age 41)
Pont de l'Alma, Paris, France
ParentsJean and Giselle Paul
Officially blamed for the death of Diana Princess of Wales

Henri Paul was the driver of the car in which Diana, Princess of Wales was fatally injured when it crashed into a central pillar in the Alma Tunnel, Paris on 31 August 1997.

Former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson said "he knew for a fact" that Paul was an MI6 asset.


Henri Paul is one of the five sons of Jean Paul, a teacher and Gisèle Paul, municipal employees. Passionate about aviation, he obtained his pilot's license at the age of 18 and did his military service in the Air Force. After passing his baccalaureate, he decides to go to Paris. He first worked as an aviation instructor then in the nautical industry where he sold boats. He was hired in 1986 at the Hotel Ritz Paris, the palace belonging to the al-Fayed family, of which he became the trusted man in Paris. Hired as deputy head of security, on June 30, 1997, he became the head of security.[1]

MI6 Asset

According to former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson said "he knew for a fact" that Paul was an MI6 asset[2]. He knew from past experience that when assets meet their agent runners, there were generally a lot of drinking. Paul had been drinking before the fatal drive. Tomlinson speculated that he had met his handler who had plied him with alcohol, in which case MI6 would have every reason to cover up any involvement in the accident.[3]

The incident

Henri Paul was on leave on the evening of August 31, 1997, but was recalled as head of security at the Ritz hotel to drive Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed to their Paris apartment. At the wheel of a Mercedes S280 luxury car, Henri Paul drives at high speed to outrun the press bikers and the "paparazzi" who are chasing the vehicle. It approaches the Alma Bridge tunnel at an estimated speed between 118 and 155 km / h, while the maximum authorized speed is 50 km / h. The car swerves and violently collides with a pillar of the tunnel. The only surviving passenger is bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, despite suffering numerous fractures to his facial bones (not having fastened his seat belt).

The Paris prosecutor's office seized the criminal brigade with a view to judicial information to find the causes of death. The investigation will conclude, as will the British investigation later, that the driver was driving dangerously under the influence of alcohol and drugs[4].

Toxicological surveys carried out a few days after the accident under the direction of Prof. Ivan Ricordel show traces of drugs prescribed for Henri Paul and a blood alcohol level of 1.87 grams per liter of blood, more than three times the maximum authorized standard. The second opinion commissioned by the Paris prosecutor's office confirmed a high rate of between 1.73 g/l and 1.75 g/l[5]. It also appears that Henri Paul was taking several drugs: Prozac, a widely used antidepressant, Noctamide, a sleeping pill, Tiapridal, a neuroleptic often used against alcoholism, and Aotal, an acamprosate used against alcohol withdrawal. Such drugs have information leaflets which specify that their absorption makes driving dangerous.

The personality investigation carried out within the framework of the judicial investigation establishes that Henri Paul held credit bank accounts for a total amount of approximately 1 million francs (approximately 152,400 euros) at his death and had with him, at the time of the accident, a sum of money of just over 1,900 francs (approximately 290 euros). These facts feed several conspiracy theories which present Henri Paul as an informant for the DGSE, MI6 or even for Mossad. It appears that the "paparazzi" obtained from him, for a fee, information on the personalities who were placed under his responsibility as the person in charge of the security of the Ritz hotel.

On September 3, 1999, the nine photographers and the press biker indicted for “unintentional homicides and injuries”, as well as “non-assistance to people in danger”, were dismissed. Justice blamed the accident on Henri Paul, who was driving under the influence of alcohol and several psychotropic drugs.[6]


  1. http://archive.wikiwix.com/cache/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lexpress.fr%2Finformations%2Fdiana-le-recit-inedit-des-temoins-du-ritz_627777.html
  2. quoted in Stephen Davis, Truthteller page 35
  3. quoted in Stephen Davis, Truthteller page 35
  4. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1584160/Diana-jury-blames-paparazzi-and-Henri-Paul-for-her-unlawful-killing.html
  5. John Morgan, Diana Inquest. The French Cover-Up, Lightening Source, 2010, p. 235
  6. Martyn Gregory, M Diana. The Last Days, Random House, 2010, p. 7