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Diana was pregnant when she died: Report
December 21, 2003 18:41 IST
Last Updated: December 22, 2003 15:20 IST
Princess Diana was pregnant at the time of her death in a road accident in Paris six years ago, a media report said in London on Sunday.
"I can tell you that she (Diana) was pregnant," a senior police official in France told the Independent.
According to the daily, the source dismissed suggestions that there was any conspiracy before the death of Diana, her friend Dodi al-Fayed and their driver in a car crash on August 31, 1997.
Conspiracy theorists had seized reports that Diana was pregnant - first alleged by Dodi's father millionaire businessman Mohammed al-Fayed soon after the accident - as a possible motive for an assassination plot by the British royal family and government.
The source who, according to the report, saw all documents relating to the case was speaking after a British coroner announced that he would hold inquests into the cause of the deaths of Diana and Dodi, beginning on January 6, 2004.
The source said the investigation points clearly to an accident, caused in part by the fact that chauffeur Henri Paul had been drinking heavily.
Diana's friends and her butler, Paul Burrell, have, in the past, strenuously denied suggestions that the princess was expecting a third child at the time of her death.
The source implied that Diana's pregnancy was hushed up to spare the embarrassment to her family. Since it was not regarded as relevant to the cause of the accident, or her death, it was not mentioned at the end of the two-year judicial investigation into the crash by a French judge, Herve Stephan.
Medical reports from the hospital where Diana died may, however, be included among the 6,000 pages of documents from the French investigation, which will be delivered to the British coroner, Michael Burgess. The coroner has said that he cannot open the hearings until he received the investigation file once legal proceedings were completed in France. He also indicated that the full hearings would be delayed until the whole file has been translated and studied.
There has also been speculation about the time it has taken to call a British inquest, now routine when a British citizen dies abroad. The proceedings have been prolonged mostly by Fayed who appealed against the original decision by French authorities to bring no action against the photographers who pursued Diana and Dodi's car.
When he lost the appeal, Fayed filed another case against three photographers for invading his son's privacy. In November, a French court dismissed the case.