Claims emerge Mercedes Princess Diana died in had been written off before

Undated file photo of Diana, Princess of Wales. The jury in the Diana, Princess of Wales inquest today returned a verdict of unlawful killing through negligent driving of both the Mercedes and the following vehicles.

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class in which Princess Diana died in, was a dangerous car before the crash, it has emerged.

According to Pascal Rostain, a Parisian photographer, the car was bought second hand by the Ritz hotel. His friend had taken the car out and reported it was dangerous to drive, in early 1997.

It transpired that in 1994 when the car was brand-new, it was stolen from then owner Eric Bousquet.

An escaped prisoner took it on a joyride, before rolling it several times in a field, and was declared a write off.

After this it was considered too dangerous for the road and condemned to the scrap heap, but was in fact bought by a mechanic who restored the vehicle.

Speaking on French radio, Rostain – who is also the co-author of the book 'Who killed Lady Di' – described the car as unfit for purpose. He said: "This Ritz car was a wreck. It had crashed before, and been rolled over several times."

Despite this however, a programme aired on French TV channel M6 claims that the car was unfit for the road - and that Princess Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed, who was also killed in the crash, should not have been traveling in the car.

The programme examined the evidence that the car had previously been involved in a crash and was not supposed to be on the road again. It also crash tested a similar model to the one Diana was traveling in to see how it performed during a high-speed collision.

However Orphelie Meunier, presenter of the documentary, said: "We are not offering a theory, a new hypothesis, we are really offering verified facts. Diana was not safe in this car."

She went on to explain that the crash was nothing more than an accident and that she hoped this would draw a line under the numerous conspiracy theories that have emerged since Diana's death nearly 20 years ago.

An inquest into both Diana and Dodi's deaths in 2008 concluded that it was a tragic accident and that there were no problems with the car prior to the collision, with both British and French experts examining the wreckage of the car carefully.

By Aidan Rennie-Jones

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