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Abdelatif Redjil, Frenchman Who Comforted Princess Diana, Exposed As Paris Thief

First Posted: 11/01/10 05:44 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:10 PM ET

Princess Diana

The man believed to have comforted Princess Diana during her final moments has been jailed for theft after months on the run, the BBC is reporting.

Known alternately as "Goldfingers" and "the Locksmith" for his adept skills at breaking and entering, the 54-year-old Abdeliatif Redjil was arrested Sunday for stealing 33,000 euros from an ATM machine. According to the AFP, Redjil had been previously sentenced to five years in jail, with two years suspended, in September for stealing two Picassos from the home of the painter's granddaughter in 2007, but had been on the run since then.

Redjil was a key witness throughout the investigation of the car crash that killed Diana in 1997. Prior to his 2007 arrest, he had testified at London's High Court that he had held Diana's hand and tried to comfort her as she lay dying, repeating the words "my God, my God" inside her wrecked Mercedes in Paris.

"He gave evidence which has been reported as fact for years, but nobody knew anything about his life as a criminal," a police source told the Evening Standard.

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |