Coroner Rules Out Murder In Diana Inquest
The coroner presiding over the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess Of Wales has told a London court there is "no evidence" to suggest she was murdered. The British royal and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were killed in a Paris, France car crash in 1997.
Fayed's father, business mogul Mohamed Al Fayed, is convinced the couple was murdered, and, during his testimony at the High Court in February (08), maintained his belief that they were assassinated by British security services acting on the orders of Prince Philip, the husband of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II.
The inquest aims to establish whether Diana and Dodi were the victims of an accident, or if they were the targets of an assassination plot headed by the British royal family - as claimed by Al Fayed.
However, summing up the inquest for the jury on Monday (31Mar08), Lord Justice Scott Baker dismissed Al Fayed's claims saying: "Various propositions... have been shown to be so demonstrably without foundation that they are no longer being pursued by Mohamed Al Fayed's lawyer, even if he still continues to believe in their truth in his own mind."
"They are not being pursued because there is not a shred of evidence to support them... There is no evidence that the Duke Of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) ordered Diana's execution, and there is no evidence that the secret intelligence service or any other government agency organised it."
Lord Baker also criticised the testimony of Diana's former butler Paul Burrell, who was recently caught on videotape confessing to holding back information from the inquest.
The coroner admitted it was regrettable that there had been some witnesses "who it appears have told lies in the witness box or elsewhere", and named Burrell as one of those who were "liars by their own admission".
Lord Baker then gave the jury five verdict options. They included: unlawful killing by grossly negligent driving of the paparazzi in the following vehicles; unlawful killing through the gross negligence of the driver Henri Paul; and unlawful killing by the grossly negligent driving of both the following vehicles and Paul.
The members of the jury were also given the choices of accidental death or an open verdict if they feel there is insufficient evidence to reach a majority conclusion. They are likely to be sent out to consider their verdict later this week (begs31Mar08). (MT/WNWCAG&WNWCCB&WNV/GES)
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