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Parents of driver paul henri bid to clear his name { August 2 2002 }

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8.45am update
Parents of Diana's chauffeur bid to clear his name

Staff and agencies
Friday August 2, 2002

The parents of Henri Paul, the chauffeur blamed for the car crash in Paris which killed Diana, Princess of Wales, today said they were taking legal action in a bid to clear their son's name.
Jean and Gisele Paul, who have always rejected the idea that their son was a heavy drinker, now say they believe the blood sample taken at the time of the accident was not their son's.

They told Radio 4's Today programme that the levels of carbon monoxide found in the blood sample would incapacitate an adult and that their son would have been unable to walk, let alone drive a car.

The French authorities have so far refused to release the blood.

Mr Paul's parents say they believe that the blood tested could have come from one of dozens of other bodies held at the Paris morgue on the night of the crash on August 31 1997.

They are taking legal action to try to force the French authorities to release the blood for an independent DNA test, which they said they would accept, if it proved that the sample came from their son.

A French inquiry into the crash found Mr Paul was drunk, under the influence of prescription drugs and driving at high speed.

Diana's boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, son of Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed, also died when the Mercedes car struck a pillar in an underpass of the Pont de l'Alma. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the only survivor. He suffered severe injuries.

Speaking a year after the crash, Mr Paul senior said: "He was the best of sons and, whatever people may say, he was not an alcoholic. We may never know what really happened on the night of the accident but I cannot accept that he was to blame."

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