BREAKING: Terrorist Hisham El-Ashmawy being retried in five cases for supporting, carrying out attacks    Egypt PM, Germany's Siemens discuss boosting cooperation    UK's BlueMac signs MOU with Egypt on establishing waste management joint venture    Trump threatens attacks on Iran in retaliation for strikes    Egyptian Takaful Insurance eyes $9.6 mln activity surplus end-June 2020    US will keep looking to do more Iran sanctions: Envoy    Global green bond issuance exceeds $100 bln in 2019: data    Egypt's new budget and development plan approved by parliament    Iran minister says Tehran fully prepared to tackle US sanctions: Tasnim    Suarez appeals for penalty for handball by Chile goalie    Ajax sign Quincy Promes from Sevilla on five-year deal    Johnson is serious about going through with no-deal Brexit    U.S., Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK express worries over MENA's escalating tensions    'I'm not the problem,' says Ecuador coach after Copa exit    Chinese stocks tumble; investors await Trump-Xi meeting    Dollar falls on Fed prospects; safe-haven Swiss franc, gold shine    'Everything is stolen from us': Tunisians fight to preserve cultural heritage    Sisi praises Egyptian fans' behaviour during 2019 AFCON opener    Egypt slams Human Rights Watch director's tweets on Morsi's    Egypt dazzles us with a breath taking AFCON 2019 opening    Egypt makes winning start to Africa Cup of Nations    Mourning a dog can be harder than losing a relative or friend    Egypt says to launch hepatitis C medical examination initiative in Africa    China needs around $440 bln to clean up rural environment – People's Daily    Egypt calls for speeding up talks on Ethiopia's GERD dam    Egypt trying to halt Tutankhamun statue sale in London    20 million drug tablets smuggling foiled in Damietta    Art Alert: Little Eagles to screen at KMT    New academic year to start 21 Sept: Egypt's Supreme Council of Universities    INTERVIEW: Investigating terrorism funded by Qatar and Turkey    In Photos: Egyptian Museum in Tahrir inaugurates new path for the visually impaired    Playing victim    Morsi dies    A painless commute    United against corruption    Africa welcomed home    Food on Facebook    Beef olives with an Oriental twist    Tanker war puts pressure on Iran    Losing is not an option    Promoting football tourism    Al-Sisi in Eastern Europe    Singer Nesma Mahgoub at Cairo Opera House Summer Festival    Mervat Shazly showing at Salama art gallery    The mummies go to the NMEC    Muslim Brotherhood: Playing victim    Egypt FM spokesman condemns OHCHR statement on Morsi's death for 'lack of integrity and objectivity'    Saudi Arabia celebrates Eid al-Fitr with 13 Arab artists    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Highly charged, often lurid, Diana inquest nears its end
Published in Daily News Egypt on 30 - 03 - 2008

LONDON: Flashing lights, swarming paparazzi, a mysterious second car at the crash site, and a multi-tentacled conspiracy allegedly directed by the husband of Queen Elizabeth II - jurors have much to sort through in reaching a judgment on the deaths of Princess Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed.
Nearly 11 years after the tragedy that shook the world, testimony has ranged far and wide in an extraordinary coroner's inquest, without shedding much light on claims that they were victims of a plot. The coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, is expected to begin his summation Monday, which may take days before going to the jury.
The key question for the jurors is whether the car crash in a Paris road tunnel on Aug. 31, 1997, was an accident.
Mohamed El-Fayed has not budged from claiming that his son and the princess died at the hands of British security agents, acting at Prince Philip's behest.
French police concluded it was an accident, caused in part by speeding and by the high alcohol level in driver Henri Paul's blood. A British police investigation concurred.
More than 240 witnesses have testified since the inquest began on Oct. 2, including Diana's close friends and former butler, Philip's private secretary and a former head of the Secret Intelligence Service, MI6. El-Fayed's late bid to force the coroner to summon Philip to testify, and for written questions to be put to the queen, was summarily rejected by a higher court.
There has been evidence that Diana feared dying in a car crash, but that she also had speculated about death in a helicopter or airplane crash; there was testimony that she feared Philip.
The basic scene is familiar: the couple s car slammed into a concrete pillar in the Alma tunnel, after apparently having a glancing collision with a white Fiat Uno, as they were pursued from the Ritz Hotel by photographers. Some witnesses said they saw flashes of light in the instant before the crash; other witnesses didn t notice any. El-Fayed s claim is that flashing lights disoriented the driver and sent the couple s car into a fatal skid.
But there was precious little evidence to back up his claims that his son and Diana were engaged, that she was pregnant and that Philip was at the head of a murder plot.
El-Fayed believes the Establishment simply didn t want Diana to marry his son, a Muslim.
El-Fayed worked his way up from a humble birth in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1929 to become one of the richest men in Britain. He owns Harrods department store, a Scottish castle, the Fulham FC soccer team and the Ritz Hotel.
As the inquest unfolded, some distance opened between El-Fayed and his lawyers.
Michael Mansfield, his main advocate, steered away from accusing Philip or claiming MI6 assassinated the couple. He did suggest that rogue agents might have been involved.
Mr El-Fayed ... has certain beliefs which he has made clear. He is plainly not a member of MI6 or, certainly, the Establishment either, Mansfield told the coroner.
I have never at any stage withdrawn any of his beliefs but you will see I have focused very carefully on elements of what he is suggesting that may be true; in other words, for which there is, forensically, evidence to support his beliefs.
Mansfield has suggested that Diana s campaign against land mines was the motive for the conspiracy - that she was assembling a dossier capable of exposing historically British involvement in Angola because of who manufactured the weaponry, how it was got in there.
When he testified on Feb. 18, El-Fayed affirmed his belief that the conspirators included Prince Philip; Diana s ex-husband, Prince Charles; Tony Blair, who was prime minister when she died; Diana s sister, Sarah McCorquodale; her brother-in-law, Robert Fellowes; two former chiefs of London police; driver Paul; the CIA; Diana s attorney, the late Lord Mishcon; two French toxicologists; Britain s ambassador to France; members of the French medical service; and three bodyguards El-Fayed once employed.
El-Fayed has claimed Fellowes was in Paris on the night of the crash sending messages to agents back in Britain. But none of El-Fayed s lawyers put that to Fellowes when he testified.
El-Fayed was the only witness to claim Diana was engaged to his son. He was told of the engagement, El-Fayed said, in a telephone call hours before the crash.
He alone definitively asserted that Diana was pregnant. The pathologist who examined her body said he saw no evidence, and others testified she was conscientious about taking her birth control pills.
So where was the proof? El-Fayed was asked.
How can you want me to get the proof? he said. I am facing a steel wall of the security service, Official Secrets Act.
The coroner asked El-Fayed if he could possibly be wrong.
No way, 100 percent, El-Fayed said. I am certain. I am the father who lost his son. And I know exactly the situations. I know exactly the facts.


Clic here to read the story from its source.