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Diana crash witness has more information
( 2004-01-18 15:27) (Agencies)

A woman who witnessed the car crash in which Princess Diana died has described the driver of a white Fiat she says was at the scene and behaving strangely, according to a Sunday newspaper.

Police remove the wreckage of the car in which Princess Diana was travelling. A witness to the 1997 Paris crash has ruled out conspiracy theories, telling a British newspaper there were no other vehicles in sight when the smash happened. [AFP]
The People tabloid quoted Souad Mouffakir of Paris, saying she had been in a car driven by Mohamed Medjahdi ahead of the princess's Mercedes in a Paris road tunnel. Medjahdi was quoted by a different newspaper on Thursday describing the accident and saying there were no other cars there.

Tests have confirmed the Mercedes carrying Diana and her companion, Dodi Fayed, had a brush with a Fiat Uno before crashing in the tunnel Aug. 31, 1997. It is not known to what extent it might have been involved in the crash. French police questioned almost 3,000 owners of Fiat Unos.

Mouffakir is quoted as saying the Fiat came up very fast alongside the car she was in, then slowed down so they were side by side.

She described the driver as in his mid-thirties, Mediterranean, "short because his head was only just above the steering wheel," and with very dark brown, wiry hair.

"He had a very strange expression, like his mind was thinking about something else," she was quoted as saying. "I thought he was a madman."

She said she told Medjadhi to speed away and that "a moment later we heard the screech of tires," the newspaper said. She said she looked around and saw the Mercedes slide out of control, come toward them, then hit a pillar.

"I looked for the Fiat but it had disappeared. The Mercedes must have gone out of control trying to avoid it," she was quoted as saying.

The newspaper said Mouffakir had remained silent since 1997 because she was afraid of being killed, but it did not indicate whom she feared.

It said she had split three years ago from Medjahdi.

He was quoted earlier this week as telling the Daily Mail newspaper, "there was no other vehicle in my field of vision. I saw no cars with the Mercedes, no photographers on motorbikes around the car. There was no one."

A French court ruled the crash an accident caused by the driver's speeding and drinking.

Last week, Britain's royal coroner launched the country's first inquest into the deaths and asked police to examine a variety of theories. Some people believe Diana was the victim of a conspiracy, variously pointing to the royal family and intelligence agencies.

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