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Thursday, 7 June, 2001, 18:37 GMT 19:37 UK
'No Kosovan link' to Dando killing
Barry George
Barry George denies murdering Jill Dando
Detectives investigating the murder of Jill Dando quickly ruled out a link between the shooting and a television appeal she made on behalf of Kosovan refugees, a court has heard.

Detective Chief Inspector Hamish Campbell, who led the murder hunt, was giving evidence on Thursday in the trial of Barry George, who has denied killing the television presenter.

Miss Dando
Miss Dando was found dead on her doorstep
He said the Kosovan link was one of numerous lines of inquiry investigated after Miss Dando was gunned down on the doorstep of her home in Gowan Avenue, Fulham, West London on 26 April 1999.

On 6 April Miss Dando had broadcast an appeal on behalf of the Kosovan refugees, but Mr Campbell said investigations had produced no evidence that she was murdered as a result.

Other suggestions about who was responsible for her death included the mafia, spurned lovers, ex-boyfriends and associates, the court was told.

"There were obscure ones like a Japanese business company. It went on and on," said Mr Campbell.

Just over a year after her death, unemployed Barry George, 41, of Crookham Road, Fulham was charged with her murder but he denies any involvement.

Phone calls

Mr Campbell agreed they had received four calls from people at the offices of Hammersmith and Fulham Action for Disability (Hafad) who variously described a man coming in who was agitated and who had talked about Jill Dando.

But no officer had gone round to ask for more details at the start of the investigation, the court was told.

Mr George told police after his arrest that he had visited the Hafad offices on the day of the murder.

Mr Campbell said there were always prime suspects in any murder inquiry and the main priority immediately after Miss Dando's death had been to look at her life and those around her.

He told the court that during the investigation more than 1,500 witness statements had been taken and hundreds of phone calls received.

Among them was a hoax call to the Mirror newspaper and an e-mail sent to the BBC saying "we shot her", the jury heard.

E-fit

Earlier a witness told the jury that on the day of the killing she had seen a man fitting the description of an E-fit published by police following the shooting.

Janet Bolton, who lived near Miss Dando, said she remembered seeing a man, about 5ft 10ins tall, with dark hair and wearing a dark three-quarter length coat, or suit jacket walking quickly towards her on Fulham Palace Road.

She said when the E-fit was issued the following day she was sure it was the man she had seen.

The trial was adjourned until Friday.

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