Man who 'comforted dying Diana' exposed as thief
Published: 1st Nov 2010 15:57:01
A French man who claimed to have comforted Princess Diana in her final moments has been exposed as a career criminal.
Abdelatif Redjil was given a five-year sentence in September, with two years suspended, for stealing two Picassos from the home of the painter's granddaughter.
But after sentencing he escaped and has been on the run ever since.
He has now been re-arrested, suspected of a series of cash machine robberies.
Redjil was a key witness throughout the long investigation into the car crash that killed Princess Diana.
The self-styled businessman told the inquest he had held her hand as she lay dying and that she had repeated the words "my God, my God".
But those final moments might well be questioned - because the witness has now been revealed as a career criminal.
Redjil is known to underworld figures as Goldfingers or The Locksmith for his expertise in picking locks.
He escaped from prison guards in September and, while on the run, is said to have stolen thousands of pounds from the safes of cash machines across Paris before being re-arrested last week.
He is also suspected, say police, of playing a leading role in the robbery of an Axa bank in February, in which robbers escaped with 33,000 euros (£28,500) in cash.
The Diana inquest heard that Redjil and his friend were near the tunnel at the time of Diana's accident and had run into it when they heard the crash.
In his statement, Redjil said they had arrived before emergency services to find smoke pouring from the front of the car.
His claims about Diana were always largely accepted as true, though of course there was never tangible evidence to back them up.
At 05:47:55 in HeadlinesThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have paid their respects to Australia's war dead on the final day of their tour.
At 05:42:09 in HeadlinesIn the past 10 years, 80 people aged 21 and under have killed themselves in prison - the government has set up a review to find out why so many young people die in custody. One mother explains what it is like to have a child die behind bars.
At 05:06:03 in HeadlinesA US judge has ordered a hearing to consider new evidence relating to the 1987 double-murder conviction of a British businessman in Miami.
At 04:53:55 in HeadlinesIran has cut state subsidies on petrol in a move that saw prices rise at midnight by up to 75%.
At 04:41:10 in HeadlinesUS President Barack Obama is in Seoul for a visit that comes amid concern that North Korea may be planning a fourth nuclear test.
At 04:36:51 in BusinessConsumer prices in Tokyo rose at their fastest pace in 22 years in April, surging 2.7% from a year earlier, according to preliminary data.
At 04:10:36 in BusinessEd Miliband will unveil plans to tackle the "epidemic" of zero-hours contracts in a speech in Scotland later.
At 03:47:29 in HeadlinesBolivia's military chiefs have ordered the dismissal of more than 700 troops who have been protesting to demand better working conditions.
At 03:35:43 in WorldWith the World Cup just six weeks away and the Olympics on the horizon, social dysfunction in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro is subject to increasing international scrutiny.
At 03:28:21 in HeadlinesUK science is to get one of the biggest, most capable polar research vessels in the world.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Man who 'comforted dying Diana' exposed as thief [Online] (Updated 1st Nov 2010)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/104237/Man-who-comforted-dying-Diana-exposed-as-thief [Accessed 25th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone made his first appearance in a Munich court on Thursday, accused of giving a £27.5m ($45m, 33m euros) bribe to a German banker.
Iran has cut state subsidies on petrol in a move that saw prices rise at midnight by up to 75%.
Ed Miliband will unveil plans to tackle the "epidemic" of zero-hours contracts in a speech in Scotland later.
Four of the biggest technology firms - Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe - have settled a class action lawsuit alleging they conspired to hold down salaries.
A new online map of England and Wales allows people to enter their postcode and find their community's risk of developing 14 conditions, such as heart disease and lung cancer.
As Liverpool fans dare to dream of a first league title in 24 years the club has revealed its own lofty plans for their ground.