A bungling Russian hitman gunned down BBC journalist Jill Dando when he was actually hired to shoot a different blonde reporter, new French court papers claim.
Dando was gunned down in the middle of the day on her doorstep in Fulham, London, on April 26, 1999.
The brutal slaying of the Crimewatch presenter remains one of the most infamous unsolved crimes in the UK of the last 20 years.
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Now, the case has taken another twist as court papers filed in France suggest that BBC journalist Lisa Brinkworth was the actual target.
Brinkworth had gone undercover to expose fashion agency Elite Model Management after the owner, Gerald Marie, was accused of multiple counts of sexual assault.
He allegedly hired a member of the Russian mafia to "deal with a problem", claim the court papers.
But the hitman could have mistaken Jill Dando for the actual target, the documents claim.
Lawyers reportedly argue the mix up may have been due to the similarities in the appearance of the two journalists, their occupation and the fact they both lived in the same area of London.
It was also said that Jill's fiancé, Alan Farthing, was Lisa's doctor.
Lawyers in the documents refer to a conversation witnessed by former Elite executive Omar Harfouch in which Marie asked for 'the problem' to be 'dealt with.'
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The documents from French law firm Bourdon Associés reportedly say: "Shortly thereafter… a BBC journalist, Jill Dando, was shot dead in April 1999.
"Indeed, 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."
One of Jill's neighbours found her lifeless body outside her London home at around midday on the day she was shot.
Barry George was found guilty of Jill's murder in 2001. He spent seven years in prison before his acquittal in 2008.
The Met Police has been contacted for comment on the recent development concerning the case.
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