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Home > News > PTI

Inquiry into Diana's death dismisses conspiracy charges

H S Rao in London | December 14, 2006 22:48 IST

Dismissing conspiracy theories, a three-year inquiry into the death of Princess Diana on Thursday concluded that she and her friend Dodi Fayed were killed in a "simple" accident in Paris as their driver was inebriated.

After an exhaustive high-profile inquiry into August 31, 1997 crash, Lord Stevens, the former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, dismissed the allegation that Diana had fallen to a plot by British intelligence.

The 900-page report also said the 36-year-old was neither pregnant nor engaged nor was about to get engaged and there was no reason for suspecting the involvement of royal family in the incident.

"There is no conspiracy to murder any of the occupants of that car," the former police chief said. "She was not engaged and was not about to get engaged. This was a tragic accident... Diana and Dodi Fayed died in a simple car crash in a Paris underpass because their driver Henri Paul tried to outrun paparazzi while intoxicated with drink and drugs."

The investigation was the largest and most comprehensive survey of the crash scene yet, said Lord Sevens. He said there was no evidence of any link "between the Duke of Edinburgh and the Security and Intelligence Service."

Before unveiling his report, Stevens briefed Prince Charles and his sons on the conclusion of the inquiry into the 1997 car crash. Two new eyewitnesses were uncovered by the inquiry, Lord Stevens said, and members of the Royal family were also interviewed.

However, "there is nothing to justify further inquiry with members of the Royal Family," he said.

Diana and 42-year-old Dodi were killed when their Mercedes crashed in the Pont de L'Alma tunnel nine years ago amid speculation that they were going to tie the knot.

Diana, who was married to the heir to the British throne, had separated from Prince Charles in 1992 and obtained a divorce four years later.

Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh - who was central to conspiracy claim by Dodi's father Mohamed al Fayed, - were spoken to and correspondence took place with Prince William, Stevens said.

He pointed out that the couple had been forced to change travel plans before their death by photographers who had gathered outside the Ritz Hotel in Paris. He said driver Henry Paul, had been driving at twice the speed limit and over the drink-live limit when he entered the Alma underpass, the sit of the accident.

Mohamed al Fayed, who believes Diana and his son were victims of a plot by the Duke of Edinburgh and the British establishment, dismissed the report as "shocking". Harrods owner al Fayed, who was not present as Lord Stevens delivered his conclusions but sent a high-powered legal team, said, "I know deep in my heart that I'm the only person who knows the truth."

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