The Lord Lucan mystery rumbles on with reports of an apparent sighting of the fugitive peer in a Botswana bar – 12 YEARS AGO.
Speaking exclusively in the Sun, two Brits claim to have met the infamous aristocrat while drinking in the Cresta Botsalo Hotel.
Lawrie Prebble, 71, said: "There had been talk for weeks that Lucan was around — he had links to Botswana. The instant he walked in I said to myself, 'That's him.'
"He was with about six people and had a very noticeable military bearing.
"His accent was so upper-class English that it cut the air and turned everyone's heads when he spoke.”
Prebble was with friend Ian Meyrick and the pair claim they kept quiet about their sighting for all these years because they feared no one would believe them.
Meyrick added: "I joined Lawrie at the bar and he said, 'That's him! That's Lucan! You just walked straight past him.'
Indeed there had been rumours the Sun on Sunday’s launch would feature an interview with the elusive peer – a theory backed by Daily Mail columnist Andrew Pierce. One can only wonder if the "scoop" fell through at the last minute.
Adding weight to the rumours was the revelation by Lucan’s brother, Hugh Bingham, to the Mirror that he is “sure” the aristocrat escaped Britain and has been living a secret life for 38 years.
Prebble and Meyrick apparently decided to come forward after a watch owned by the missing Lord was discovered in South Africa.
The silver timepiece is inscribed with a message which reads “Presented to Lord ‘Lucky’ Lucan, the old fossil, by his friends at the Clermont club, Mayfair, 18 December 1967.
It was apparently bought as part of a £5,000 deal by Staffordshire antiques dealer Cedrick Lincoln- from a contact who claims he got it in a South African pawn shop.
If this is true, it lends credibility to the theory the aristocrat fled to South Africa after the murder of his children’s nanny in London in 1974.
While there is no concrete proof the watch belonged to Lucan, there are photos of the peer wearing a similar timepiece.
Lincoln told the Sun: "It was complete coincidence that I bought the watch just as the story about Lord Lucan living in Africa emerged.
"When I saw a picture of him wearing the watch I was just gobsmacked.
"The dealer said its history was that it had been pawned in Africa then found its way back here.
"I'm convinced it's Lucan's watch and the history pins him to living in Africa all these years."
Lincoln now hopes to have DNA tests carried out on the watch.
He added: "I have a feel for this kind of thing and I don't believe the inscription was made at a later date on an old watch. I believe this was presented to him and he wore it."
Lucan went missing following the death of Sandra Rivett and was declared dead by the High Court in 1999. An inquest jury named him as the killer in 1975.
There have been numerous “sightings” of the missing nobleman, often in Australia and India.
Most recently a BBC report interviewed a former personal assistant to Lucan’s friend John Aspinall, who claimed the peer was living in African during the 1980s.
Jill Findlay also claims the peer, who would be 77 if he was still alive, was visited by his children at least twice.