The pile of papers put together during an 18-month long investigation into Princess Diana’s death in Paris stands almost a metre tall – but won't be released anytime soon.
Daily Star revealed on Saturday that French courts are using an obscure rule to block access to the file on Di’s death and it could be kept secret until 2082.
Many believe the file, which stands a metre-high with 6,000 pages inside it, holds information showing her death was suspicious.
A source who has viewed part of the 6,000-page dossier told the Daily Star: “It stinks of a cover up and conspiracy at the highest level, and is typical of French bureaucracy.”
Authorities at the Palais de Justice in the French capital – where the documents are locked in a basement archive and guarded by armed cops – said they were using “article L. 213-2” of their “heritage code” to prohibit access.
The code states certain national archives should be shielded from public view for at least 75 years from their completion date.
As the file was finished in 2007, it will be kept secret until 2082 at the earliest.
It is understood authorities will have the power to review whether to release the file at that time, meaning it may never be seen in full by the public.
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A spokesman for the Palais de Justice denied us access after weeks of requests to view it by stating: “The investigation file is placed in the archives of the Paris Court of Appeal.
“In application of article L213-2 of the heritage code, it cannot be consulted before the expiration of a period of 75 years.”
They added: “There is no online version of this archive.”
When we pressed French authorities to provide justification for using an obscure rule to lock away the Diana evidence file, a spokesman for the Palais de Justice brushed off our request by adding: “Just keep sending letters.”
No further reason was given for the secrecy over the documents.
It was also not made clear if anyone would be allowed to make copies of the file or photograph its contents in 2082.
In 2007, French authorities bizarrely claimed they had lost the 6,000-page file.
They said it had been misplaced just weeks ahead of the £12.5million inquest into Diana’s death held in Britain that lasted from 2007 to 2008.
The file took three years to compile and was the work of 30 police officers.
Sources told us it contains thousands of pages detailing the statement of around 200 witnesses statements, along with the results of forensic tests on Di’s drunk chauffeur Henri Paul, never-before-seen photos of the crash scene and of those who died, as well as crucial interviews with all those involved in one of the biggest investigations in global legal history.
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