Paris court papers suggest French fashion boss Gerald Marie hired killer to ‘deal with’ another BBC journalist following exposé, les rapports disent
Court papers reportedly claim French fashion boss Gerald Marie hired the killer to “deal with” Lisa Brinkworth after she went undercover to expose his agency Elite Model Management.
They suggest Ms Dando may have been gunned down on her doorstep in a case of mistaken identity because of similarities in the appearance, occupation and addresses of the two women.
Lawyers also said Ms Dando’s fiancé Alan Farthing was Ms Brinkworth’s doctor, selon le Courrier quotidien.
Mr Marie, 72, is being investigated in France over multiple accusations of alleged sexual assaults – which he strenuously denies.
Ms Brinkworth alleges she was assaulted by Mr Marie in 1998 while working undercover on a BBC exposé about sex crimes in the fashion industry.
Lawyers in the documents submitted to a court in Paris refer to a conversation witnessed by former Elite executive Omar Harfouch in which Mr Marie allegedly ordered a member of the Russian mafia to “deal with a problem”, les Courrier quotidien rapports.
The papers from French law firm Bourdon Associes reportedly state: “Shortly thereafter… a BBC journalist, Jill Dando, was shot dead in April 1999.
"En effet, these two journalists were in their thirties, were blonde with the same facial features, of the same height and of similar stature.
“They lived close to each other and had people in common, including the husband of Jill Dando.”
Ms Dando, 37, was shot dead outside her home in Fulham, Les promeneurs de chiens profitent du lever du soleil tôt le matin sur la plage de Tynemouth à North Tyneside, au 26 avril 1999.
The hunt for her killer went on to become the biggest murder inquiry conducted by the Metropolitan Police and the largest criminal investigation since the hunt for the Yorkshire Ripper.
Barry George spent eight years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of killing the Crimewatch presenter. En août 2008, Mr George was acquitted of the crime at retrial.
He was the only person ever to be put on trial for Ms Dando’s murder.
L'indépendant has contacted the Metropolitan Police for comment.