17 December 2007 - Afternoon session
4 (2.00 pm)
5 (Jury present)
6 MR BURNETT: Sir, there are four statements to be read this
8 The first is of George Younes and is dated
9 15th August 2005.
10 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: Yes.
11 MR BURNETT: This is his statement.
12 Statement of GEORGE YOUNES (read)
13 MR BURNETT: "I have been employed at the British Embassy in
14 Paris in the capacity of Embassy security officer since
15 December 1993. I am employed by the British Embassy
16 management section.
17 "I am both fluent in French and in English, both
18 oral and written.
19 "On Saturday 30th August 1997 I was supposed to
20 start work at 7.30 pm as per a normal night shift; I was
21 at work at 7.20 pm as per usual for a ten-minute
22 hand-over process. On Sunday 31st August 1997, my
23 normal shift should have finished at 7.30 am, but given
24 the circumstances of that day, I finished work at
25 1.00 pm. I did however remain at the Embassy until
1 about 3.00 pm to discuss the coming week's roster and
2 the book of condolence with the security manager,
3 Mr Phil Whiteman.
4 "I was on duty that night with another colleague
5 whose name is Mr Simon Jackson. I was on the Chancery
6 desk at 35 Rue Faubourg Saint Honore, where all
7 the Embassy offices are situated, whereas Simon Jackson
8 was working in the Residence Lodge next door, where the
9 Ambassador lives. The staff entrance is situated at
10 37 Rue Faubourg Saint Honore.
11 "Simon Jackson was also a security officer and was
12 on the same shift as me. Simon Jackson still works at
13 the Embassy as a security officer. To the best of my
14 knowledge, Simon Jackson did not receive any calls in
15 respect of this incident before I was notified. It is
16 my recollection that it was I that first informed him of
17 this incident, although I am sure that he helped me with
18 subsequent calls, as there were so many coming in. Out
19 of hours incoming calls are all routed to the Chancery
20 and Residence desk simultaneously on the same phone
21 line, but it is the responsibility of the Chancery desk
22 to answer all incoming calls.
23 "My responsibilities as security officer are firstly
24 to protect the Ambassador, his family and the Chancery,
25 to conduct security patrols inside the building, check
1 alarms and to monitor the CCTV. On nights, weekends and
2 out of hours, I also have the responsibility of dealing
3 with UK nationals in distress and we are also
4 the liaison point between the French and British
5 authorities, and fielding telephone calls. In the
6 normal course of events, during the day between 9.30 am
7 and 6.30 pm Monday to Friday, a switchboard is in
9 "On Saturday 30th August 1997, Simon Jackson and
10 I were the only two people to be working at the British
11 Embassy. Prior to the incident at the Alma Tunnel I had
12 walked around the Chancery for one of the routine
13 security checks, but I do not recall the time. I can
14 however confirm that there was no one else present in
15 the Chancery offices. Furthermore, if there had been
16 anyone working in the offices, they would have been
17 registered at the security desk.
18 "I have been asked when I was first aware that
19 Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed had been
20 involved in a car crash in the Paris Alma Tunnel.
21 I first became aware of this news when I received
22 a telephone call between 12.50 am and 1.00 am from
23 the then Prefet de Police, Mr Massoni. My telephone
24 rang and I answered that it was the British Embassy.
25 Mr Massoni spoke to me in French and introduced himself
1 as the Prefet de Police. He told me that he was calling
2 as a result of the accident and that there was already
3 one dead involved in this accident. He was under
4 the impression that I was aware of an accident having
5 taken place. I informed him that I was not aware of any
6 accident and this is when he informed me that Diana,
7 Princess of Wales had been involved in a crash in
8 the Alma Tunnel in Paris. He told me that he was
9 currently at the scene of the crash and that a
10 Mr Al Fayed had died in the accident, but I didn't know
11 who he was. He did not tell me anything about the
12 condition of the Princess of Wales, he simply told me
13 that Mr Al Fayed was dead. I took all the details from
14 him, including his contact number. He did not direct me
15 to do anything.
16 "Once I had recorded all the information, it is my
17 responsibility to pass it on. I immediately made an
18 entry in the Chancery daily occurrence log. Without
19 checking the original Chancery daily occurrence log for
20 that weekend and to the best of my recollection,
21 the telephone call from Mr Massoni would have been
22 either entry number 1 or number 2 of the Chancery daily
23 occurrence log on Sunday 31st August 1997. This entry
24 would have been made at the time of the telephone call
25 from Mr Massoni, which I confirm was taken before any
1 telephone call from the Elysee Palace. It may also be
2 the case that my routine security check log entry could
3 have been entry number 1 for Sunday 31st August 1997 or
4 could have been one of the last entries of Saturday
5 30th August 1997, but I cannot be sure. What I can say
6 is that my routine security check would not have taken
7 place after the telephone call from Mr Massoni and
8 therefore the security check log entry is unlikely to be
9 entry number 2 for Sunday 31st August.
10 "After the receipt of the telephone call from
11 Mr Massoni, I received a telephone call from a duty
12 officer at the Elysee Palace. I have been shown by
13 DS Grater a copy of the Chancery daily occurrence log
14 relating to this call and subsequent entries.
15 I understand that DS Grater obtained this copy of
16 the log from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in
17 London. I have had an opportunity of reading this
18 document, which I can now produce as my exhibit.
19 The time of the call from the Elysee Palace is logged at
20 1.10 am on Sunday 31st August 1997 and this is entry
21 number 3 for the day. That entry reads 'Telephone call
22 from Mr [and the name is unreadable] permanence de
23 Palais Elysee to inform the Embassy that Lady Diana had
24 a serious accident, car, at tunnel, Pont de l'Alma,
25 Paris. There is a death in her car. She's being taken
1 away to a hospital, Paris, that is still kept secret for
2 instant take all details from here'. To the best of my
3 recollection, this was the second incoming telephone
4 call in relation to this incident, approximately ten
5 minutes after the initial call from Mr Massoni.
6 "As a result of this telephone call, I thanked him
7 and I told him that we were already aware of the
8 accident and that someone had died. The caller asked me
9 if we had a crisis unit to liaise with the Elysee Palace
10 for more details. I informed him that at that time
11 it was only me, but that additional people would be
12 informed and deal with the situation.
13 "I can confirm that the handwriting and subsequent
14 entries, up to entry 88 in the Chancery daily occurrence
15 log, are definitely mine.
16 "The purpose of this occurrence log is to record all
17 information for any future use. As an example, I would
18 record information such as a British citizen who called
19 to inform that they had lost their passport, that they
20 had no money, property lost and found, security checks,
21 notification of British citizens involved in serious
22 incidents, a British citizen becoming a victim or
23 suspect in matters of crimes, deaths, et cetera.
24 "I have been asked where the original Chancery daily
25 occurrence log is for 30th and 31st August 1997. I do
1 not know where the original is. I do not know how long
2 the logs are kept. To my knowledge, the security
3 manager would have been responsible for retaining these
4 logs, although I do not know where or for how long.
5 Normally the occurrence logs are filed at the end of
6 each month, but I was not responsible for this and I do
7 not know how the filing takes place. I should explain
8 that the occurrence log is not a book but is in fact
9 loose-leafed and held in a ring-binder. In 1997,
10 Phil Whiteman was the security manager for the British
11 Embassy in Paris. I believe he is now a British police
12 officer but I do not know where. Phil Whiteman was
13 replaced by the current security manager,
14 Mr Andrew Bishop.
15 "I would also like to explain that during a night
16 duty shift, it is normal procedure for separate logs to
17 be kept by the Chancery desk and the Residence desk.
18 "As a result of receiving the telephone call from
19 the Elysee Palace and making the relevant entry in the
20 log at 1.10 am, I then immediately contacted the duty
21 Chancery officer, Mr Keith Shannon at 1.15 am.
22 Keith Shannon did not reply and I left a message on his
23 answerphone at home. I then called his mobile telephone
24 and left another message. I continued to call his home
25 number and eventually managed to wake him at home.
1 Although the log might show a five- or ten-minute gap
2 between entries number 3 and number 4, this is because
3 I have to ensure that everything is recorded correctly
4 and locate the details of the appropriate on-call duty
5 officer. Additionally, this night was far from normal
6 and due to the high volume of calls received,
7 I subsequently only recorded what I felt was important
8 and related to this incident in the occurrence log.
9 "When I spoke with Keith Shannon, I informed of what
10 I had been told by Mr Massoni and the Elysee Palace.
11 I also called and informed the duty consulate officer,
12 but I do not recall who this was on this night and this
13 is not recorded in the log. It is normal procedure when
14 an incident such as this takes place for the duty
15 consulate officer and the duty Chancery officer from
16 the on-call list to be informed by the security officer.
17 "I have been asked if I notified anybody else
18 following my conversation with Mr Shannon. According to
19 the log and to the best of my recollection, I telephoned
20 Simon Jackson to inform him of a busy night ahead.
21 I also recall talking to the Ambassador, Sir Michael
22 Jay, by telephone and informing him of what I had been
23 told, but I do not remember at what time. I informed
24 Tim Livesey, the press officer, at 1.50 am.
25 "At 1.55 am I received a telephone call from 'Hotel
1 Matignon Permanence', the duty officer from the French
2 Prime Minister's office. By that point Keith Shannon
3 had joined me at the Chancery desk and I handed this
4 call to him.
5 "At 2 am I telephoned the Consul General and put him
6 through to the Ambassador.
7 "Throughout the course of the night, the log will
8 show that I received a number of telephone calls from
9 members of the media, but no details were given to them.
10 At 2.21 am I received a telephone call from Buckingham
11 Palace (secretary of Lady Diana). I also received
12 numerous telephone calls from various British and
13 foreign ministerial officers, but these were passed on
14 to Keith Shannon and his staff to deal with.
15 "At 6 am we received a confirmation from
16 Sir Michael Jay that the Princess of Wales had passed
17 away and that this could be officially confirmed to
18 anyone that called the Embassy. We were also instructed
19 to fly the flag at half-mast.
20 "To the best of my recollection, nobody that I spoke
21 to on the night seemed to be aware of this incident
22 until I had informed them of it.
23 "I have been asked if I was aware that Diana,
24 Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed were in Paris prior
25 to receiving the call from Mr Massoni. I was not aware
1 that she was in Paris and I was surprised. Normally,
2 when Diana, Princess of Wales was in Paris on official
3 matters, she would stay at the Ambassador's residence.
4 As far as I was concerned, there was nothing official to
5 inform me that she was in Paris.
6 "I have been asked if I have any further information
7 that I consider may be of relevance to the UK Coroner in
8 his forthcoming inquests. I do not.
9 "I am willing to assist further if required to do
11 So that is the end of that statement.
12 The next statement is of Stephen Jordan Donnelly and
13 it is dated 22nd September 2005. He gives his
14 occupation as British Vice Consul.
15 Statement of STEPHEN JORDAN DONNELLY (read)
16 MR BURNETT: "I have been employed by the British Embassy in
17 Paris since 1983, when I was working in the passport
18 section of the consular section involved in
19 the processing of passport applications. In May 1994
20 there was a re-organisation of the consular section and
21 I was asked to take on a consular assistance role, which
22 was a pre-runner of what is now called the consular
23 protection section. I worked with a vice-consul and at
24 that time my title was Pro-Consul to the Vice-Consul.
25 When he retired a couple of years after that, I became
2 "In essence, I have been working as British
3 Vice-Consul since 1987 in what has become titled
4 the protection section. The numbers in the protection
5 section were increased by one staff to three in 2000 and
6 we now have a pro-consul working with two vice-consuls
7 working in consular assistance.
8 "Prior to 1983 I was a civil servant working in
9 Glasgow in the Department of Employment. In August 1997
10 I was one of two vice-consuls working in the protection
11 section of the British Consulate in Paris and I was and
12 I am the head of the protection section reporting
13 directly to Her Majesty's Consul General, who has
14 responsibility for the protection section and in his
15 absence I report to Her Majesty's Consul; they are both
16 diplomatic staff.
17 "I am a locally engaged member of staff working
18 under contract to the British Consulate in Paris, as
19 opposed to the Diplomatic Service staff sent to Paris by
20 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for a maximum
21 four-year secondment.
22 "In protection section, 50 per cent of my time is
23 involved in dealing with British nationals incarcerated
24 in prisons in France. The other 50 per cent of my time
25 involves assisting British Nationals who have been
1 hospitalised and their families. I also deal with
2 assisting the families of the bereaved and this was my
3 function in August of 1997.
4 "I have been asked to explain my roles and
5 responsibilities. When dealing with prisoners we have a
6 role of assisting British Nationals in Prison, visiting
7 them on a regular basis, assisting family visits, taking
8 up complaints with the prison authorities and advising
9 their families on where to get legal advice. For those
10 hospital, the first responsibility is tracing and
11 informing the next of kin. This is exactly the same for
12 hospital cases as well as deaths. For a death, this is
13 done in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth
14 Office and the British police. Once traced, we would
15 guide the families to the proper authorities in France
16 to arrange the repatriation of the body to the United
17 Kingdom. It is for the family and not the consular
18 officer to make and pay for the arrangements. This
19 applies also to hospital cases.
20 "Another role is dealing with requests from UK
21 coroners to obtain documents from the French authorities
22 relating to the deaths of British citizens in France.
23 The reason that this is a consular function is because
24 the French authorities do not accept requests under
25 the Convention of Mutual Legal Assistance from Coroners
1 the original formal request from the Coroner to the
2 French authorities in this case was in fact made by
3 the consular section. We received the formal request
4 from the Coroner, from which I drafted a 'note verbale',
5 which I think was then signed by the Consul General at
6 the time, Keith Moss, as I am not able to do so myself.
7 Before the European arrest warrant system came into
8 force earlier this year, the consular protection section
9 would have also submitted the extradition requests in
10 a manner similar to the Coroner's requests.
11 "I have been asked what level my French was in 1997.
12 My only formal qualification in the French language was
13 an O level which I passed in 1973, however I am fluent
14 in French and was so in 1997.
15 "I have been asked how I first became aware of the
16 deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed in
17 August 1997. On the morning of Sunday 31st August at
18 about 8.15 am to 8.20 am, I received a telephone call at
19 my home address in the suburbs of Paris from
20 the Consul General, Keith Moss. I was in bed when I got
21 the call. Keith Moss said, 'Stephen, it's Keith".
22 I said 'Hello Keith', to which he said 'Diana is dead',
23 to which my response was 'Diana who?' He then told me
24 it was Princess Diana and I was very shocked. Keith
25 Moss told me that he was at the hospital in Paris.
1 I remember that he told me which hospital. I do not
2 remember the exact words he used. I asked him if he
3 wanted me to go to the hospital. He told me that he did
4 not want me to go to the hospital but that he would
5 rather I stay on call at home.
6 "I had not been on call at home that weekend. The
7 on-call consular officer had been Gillian Storey, who
8 normally worked in the visa section, but because I dealt
9 with deaths of British citizens in France on a
10 day-to-day basis, I had been informed. My first
11 telephone call after I had finished speaking with
12 Keith Moss was to Gillian Storey in order to inform her
13 of these developments and to take her out of the loop
14 and ask for all calls to be channelled through me, in
15 order to keep her free to deal with all other consular
16 matters. I have been shown a copy of a document marked
17 'Telephone report of death by DS Grater'. This document
18 appears to have been completed by Gillian Storey and
19 records that I had called her at 8.30 am that morning.
20 This is a standard form completed for the death of
21 a British citizen in Paris.
22 "Keith Moss had told me that the Princess of Wales'
23 body was in a room next to where he was and that it was
24 extremely hot and that he had asked the hospital to
25 provide ice to put around the body, but that
1 the hospital had told him that they did not have any.
2 So he asked me to try to find some ice. I had no idea
3 where to start. I expected that the hospital would have
4 some. It was Sunday morning. On reflection, I decided
5 to call PFG, one of the funeral directors that are
6 recommended to bereaved families, to see if they could
7 point me in the right direction. I called Directory
8 Enquiries and obtained a number for PFG, a major funeral
9 directors in France, who I am aware had dealt with
10 numerous repatriations of British citizens to the UK.
11 I am also aware that they are well known to other
13 "Under normal circumstances, when a British citizen
14 died in France, family members of the family ask for
15 advice as to which funeral directors to use. They would
16 be given three names or told to go to the local
17 undertakers. If they preferred, they could also
18 approach a British company to organise this for them.
19 PFG were not the British Embassy undertakers. I was
20 simply calling them for advice. The choice of which
21 undertakers to use is a matter for the family to decide
22 and their appointing of the funeral directors is
23 a private transaction.
24 "When I called PFG, I was surprised to be put
25 through to a man who introduced himself of the president
1 of the company, but I cannot recall his name. It would
2 be fair to say that this call, to the best of my
3 recollection, would have been made around 9 am. I spoke
4 in French to the president of PFG and told him that
5 I was calling in respect of the death of Diana,
6 Princess of Wales. He told me that he was aware of her
7 death. It was as if he had been expecting my call.
8 I explained the problem of the heat at the hospital and
9 that there was no ice. I told him which hospital and
10 I asked him if he could help. I do not recall his exact
11 words, but he informed me that he could help and that he
12 would deal with it. I was thankful and relieved.
13 I thanked him and that was the end of the conversation.
14 I can remember nothing else of this short conversation.
15 "After this conversation, I am not sure what I did
16 next. I probably went downstairs and switched on the
17 television to see what was being reported on Sky News.
18 I have been asked if I called Keith Moss. I cannot
19 remember if I called him back.
20 "It was not until I received the telephone call from
21 Keith Moss that morning that I became aware that Diana,
22 Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed were in Paris, let
23 alone France.
24 "I have been asked what I did during the course of
25 this Sunday. I was anticipating the scenario and I knew
1 that there would be a requirement for funeral directors
2 later on in the day. Legally, it would have to be a
3 French funeral director that would seal the body in
4 a coffin prior to repatriation. I recall telephoning
5 a man called Patrick Launay, who worked for PFG in
6 Paris, to ensure that there was a funeral directors
7 locally to deal with things if necessary. I had known
8 him for quite a number of years on an operational level.
9 I don't recall what time I called him.
10 "I also remember speaking to Mr Al Fayed, although
11 I do not recall at what time. I had received a call,
12 probably from the Embassy, telling me that Mr Al Fayed
13 was seeking assistance. Before returning the call,
14 because Mr Mohamed Al Fayed is a non-British national,
15 I spoke to the Ambassador, Michael Jay, and asked for
16 clearance to do so. In principle we do not give
17 consular assistance to non-British nationals, but under
18 the circumstances it was agreed that I should give any
19 help that I could. I telephoned Mr Mohamed Al Fayed and
20 I presented my condolences and those of the Ambassador
21 and the Embassy. He sounded in control, but obviously
22 distressed. I remember feeling very sorry for him. He
23 asked for guidance on how to get Dodi's body back to the
24 UK. I told him that he needed to liaise with the
25 funeral directors and he informed me that he had
1 somebody from the funeral directors there with him.
2 I do not remember exactly what words I used, but
3 I advised him that he needed to instruct the funeral
4 directors to repatriate the body back to the UK.
5 "I had been following the developments on Sky News.
6 I saw that a military aircraft was about to leave the UK
7 with a coffin and that members of the Princess of Wales'
8 family were coming over to France as well. I remember
9 phoning Sir Michael Jay with this news. He was at
10 the Embassy at this time and I am not sure whether he
11 was aware of this. I was watching the events as they
12 happened. I didn't feel involved in any of the
13 arrangements and therefore I did not know what other
14 people knew or what they were doing.
15 "I also received a telephone call from a company of
16 solicitors who said that they were representing the
17 Princess of Wales. They asked me about French judicial
18 procedures for road traffic incidents. I told them what
19 I knew and that if they wanted to be civil parties, they
20 would need to make a request and instruct French lawyers
21 on their behalf. I did not receive any further calls
22 back from the funeral directors.
23 "At no stage that day did I attend the British
24 Embassy or attend the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital. I did
25 not leave my home that day. I did not attend the scene
1 of the crash.
2 "I have been asked how it could have been that
3 the funeral directors made their way to the hospital.
4 I am not sure, but it could have been catalysed by my
5 initial call with the president of the PFG or it could
6 have been my call to Patrick Launay, as I recall seeing
7 him on television in the procession removing the coffin
8 from the hospital.
9 "I have been asked whether there were any protocols
10 in place to inform me of Royal visits to France. There
11 are none. I am not in a loop where I would need to know
12 about these trips.
13 "As a result of the telephone calls I made that day,
14 I did not formally instruct anybody. I did not give
15 anyone instructions, but I can understand that my call
16 to the PFG director possibly led to PFG being involved.
17 "I have been asked whether I received any calls that
18 day instructing me. Other than the issue with the ice
19 required at the hospital, I cannot remember being
20 instructed to do anything.
21 "I have been asked if I made or received any
22 instruction that day dealing with the repatriation of
23 the Princess of Wales' body. No, I was not involved
24 with the repatriation.
25 "I have been asked whether I made notes that day and
1 whether I still have them. I made some notes at the
2 time of who I spoke to, when and the conversation.
3 These notes were made at the time on some scrap paper
4 and at the end of the day I wrote them up cleanly.
5 I remember taking my notes into the office on the
6 following Monday, but I do not know where they are now.
7 I certainly don't remember seeing them in the consular
8 case file. I gave them to Keith Moss at the time as he
9 was going to do a report of everything that happened.
10 I am sure that he gave the notes back to me and
11 the normal procedure would be that they would be put
12 into the registration office for filing into
13 the consular file. I do not know what has happened to
14 them, but I definitely did not destroy them. The
15 consular file was classified as confidential because
16 Keith Moss had classified his summary of events as
17 'confidential', therefore the entire file is
18 'confidential'. As such, it would have limited access
19 and have been locked away in a strongroom.
20 "I have been asked whether I spoke to anyone from
21 Levertons Undertakers on the day. I do not recall doing
22 this. I do not recall speaking to Levertons at all.
23 "I have been asked whether I spoke to anyone
24 involved in the embalming of the Princess of Wales.
25 I don't recall doing so.
1 "I have been asked whether I spoke with anybody from
2 a company called BJL on 31st August 1997. I do not
3 recall speaking with them. I do recall months later
4 seeing a bill from this company which had been addressed
5 to Keith Moss. I did not know of BJL's involvement
6 prior to this. This bill was forwarded to the Royal
7 Matters Section so that it could be dealt with. I also
8 remember receiving a telephone call from the company
9 many months later stating that the bill had not been
10 paid and a further request was forwarded to the Royal
11 Matters Section. I am aware that it took maybe two
12 years for the bills to be paid.
13 "I have been asked when I first became aware that
14 the Princess of Wales had been embalmed. I certainly
15 did not know on the day that the Princess of Wales was
16 being embalmed. Even when I saw the bill from BJL,
17 I knew that they had undertaken something, but I did not
18 know that the Princess of Wales had been embalmed.
19 I think it was only recently that I became aware that
20 the Princess of Wales had been embalmed, I believe as
21 a result of documents I have seen since being asked to
22 give this statement. I subsequently researched what
23 embalming actually is and now know that it involves
24 injecting chemicals into the body.
25 "I have been asked if I know what the French term
1 'Soins de thanatopraxie' or 'thanatopracteur' means.
2 I did not know in August 1997. I remember 'services
3 d'hygiene' being used in the bill from BJL and that this
4 referred to hygiene. I thought that 'thanatopracteur'
5 was just a fancy name and my concern was not with
6 the content of this bill, but the fact that it had not
7 been paid, nor had the bill from PFG. It is only
8 recently when seeing Keith Moss' statement to DS Grater
9 that I understood that the Princess of Wales had been
10 embalmed. It is subsequent to this that I looked up
11 the word and realised that there was an issue in
12 the press about the embalming of the Princess of Wales.
13 "I have been asked whether I am aware of anybody
14 from the British Embassy or the Consulate making calls
15 to BJL on 31st August 1997. I am not. I only became
16 aware that representatives of this company were at
17 the hospital through their bill and subsequently through
18 Keith Moss' statement.
19 "I was surprised to find out that both Diana,
20 Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed were repatriated to
21 the UK on 31st August 1997. The normal procedure,
22 including the administrative processes, take between
23 five to seven days, but I was not involved in this
24 process so I do not know how the repatriation took
1 "I have been asked whether I was involved in any of
2 the decision-making process into the repatriation of
3 Dodi Al Fayed's body. I was not. I cannot recall
4 anything more than what I have explained to you.
5 "I would like to add that on 1st September 1997
6 I attended the Public Prosecutor's Office in Paris, in
7 company of Paul Johnson, as part of my normal consular
8 duties, to inquire as to the judicial procedures that
9 would follow. As part of my consular role to provide
10 assistance to those hospitalised, I also attended
11 the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital to enquire about the
12 condition of Trevor Rees-Jones, but I was refused access
13 by medical staff.
14 "Apart from drafting the 'note verbale' for
15 the Consul General, I have had no involvement in
16 the investigation of this incident."
17 Sir, the next statement that I read is one from
18 Alan Clark MP. It is in the form of an article that he
19 wrote in The Spectator, a very short part of which was
20 read by my learned friend Mr Keen last week, in --
21 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: I think I gave an indication that
22 this was going to be produced.
23 MR BURNETT: You did, yes. Sir, I should say that the last
24 two statements that have been read have been read as
25 uncontroversial. Everyone has agreed that there was
1 nothing to be disputed in them.
2 This one is being read because as we know --
3 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: The witness is dead.
4 MR BURNETT: -- Mr Clark is dead.
5 Sir, I know Mr Keen was not here when you mentioned
6 it, but it was to ensure that the jury had the full
8 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: Yes.
9 Article by ALAN CLARK (read)
10 MR BURNETT: This is an article by Alan Clark which appeared
11 in The Spectator magazine in London, on August 9th,
12 1997. The headnote reads:
13 "After a Glasgow MP killed himself, Alan Clark on
14 lethal journalists, and the person they most want to
15 drive to suicide.
16 "The suicide of Gordon McMaster MP brings the press
17 corps' body count up to three. 'Confirmed', as they
18 used to say in Vietnam briefings. Congratulations,
19 boys! The big one (see below) still eludes you, but
20 I expect you will get her in the end.
21 "The deaths, by their own hand, in the last three
22 years of Lady Green, Lady Caithness and poor fat Gordon
23 are all of them directly attributable to press
24 harassment over incidents or rumours that were intensely
25 personal, as was the resignation in Edinburgh -- also
1 following homosexual tittle-tattle -- of Mickey Hirst.
2 'Do you deny ... ?' endlessly repeated to the man; 'How
3 do you feel about ... ?' to the woman. Why should
4 anyone answer such questions from a complete stranger?
5 "Of course it is entirely typical of editorial
6 hypocrisy that Tommy Graham, the amiable (and garrulous)
7 neighbouring MP should be, by innuendo, blamed along
8 with some of his cronies for Gordon's death. But
9 everyone gossips, and good gossip, in pubs and clubs, is
10 malicious. We live with it and we enjoy it. The poison
11 only starts to take effect when the press take a hand.
12 It is the constant phone calls at all hours;
13 the doorstepping by total strangers, their manner
14 alternating between aggressive and wheedling that causes
15 dementia. No one who has not experienced the pain of
16 having their loved ones in tears for hours on end, their
17 children too terrified to attend school, the feeling of
18 total entrapment in their own house, can appreciate what
19 this is like.
20 "And it is deliberate. It is, sometimes literally,
21 a blood sport and the practitioners enjoy it. Those
22 serried, implacable ranks of photographers, or 'monkeys'
23 as is their trade name, flashbulbs on motor drive and
24 speaking only to shout the occasional abusive phrase in
25 order to 'provoke', replicate in the 20th century
1 the mobs of the 18th hurling refuse and excrement at the
2 at the passing tumbrils.
3 "Most journalists are utterly dishonest n their
4 technique. All moral impedimenta are discarded in
5 the thrill of the chase. I give an example from
6 personal experience. At one point, irritated by her
7 insouciant style, reporters tried to get a 'reaction'
8 from Jane, my wife, by telling her about my bastard --
9 or 'love', as the fashionable euphemism has it -- child.
10 'We have already', said one of their number, (Stuart
11 White is his name, and on enquiry I was told that he was
12 'very good on assignment') 'spoken to the mother'.
13 "This was quite remarkably cruel and deceitful
14 behaviour. There was no truth whatsoever in
15 the allegation, nor in the claim. No such person
16 exists. There must be many wives who, faced with this
17 sudden shock, might have done something (as was clearly
18 the informant's intention) extreme. But what redress
19 does one have? None. In such a world, friendship and
20 promises are without value, although it takes some time
21 for this to sink in. Be always on the alert for the
22 hard-cop/soft-cop routine. Be doubly aware of any
23 interrogator who offers the opportunity to 'put the
24 record straight' (ie prolong the life of the 'story').
25 "And yet I remain extremely doubtful about
1 the wisdom of press censorship. We in public life who
2 issue press 'releases' and arrange photo calls sup with
3 the devil, and often the spoon is a bit too short.
4 We must not complain if from time to time we burn our
5 fingers. If we summon an audience to Conservative
6 Central Office and talk a lot of hokum about 'the Sword
7 of Truth', we are asking for it.
8 "Those who really deserve protection are
9 the ordinary people who, often quite innocently, get
10 into a muddle and are gleefully held up to ridicule or
11 abuse: dragged for a couple of days in the gutter, their
12 traumata exposed for all to see, and then discarded
13 forever, their lives ruined.
14 "Now it is believed that the European Convention of
15 Human Rights is to be incorporated in English law with
16 its provisions for ensuring privacy. How to separate
17 these two categories of 'victim' will certainly tax
18 the discernment of those who draft the legislation. One
19 possible advantage of the ECHR provision being taken
20 into English law is that it could have some slight
21 effect on the conduct of the police.
22 "At present there is total collusion between police
23 and media. Far from being protected, any citizen who,
24 driven to distraction, might punch a cameraman is
25 arrested on the spot. Anyone who has suffered
1 bereavement -- particularly from loss of a child in
2 criminal circumstances -- will be pressured to have
3 a 'press conference' on television where, with a bit of
4 luck, they will break down.
5 "In the Met, most stations seem to have a 'press
6 liaison officer' whose principal function appears to be
7 ringing round the tabloids the moment a potential
8 subject hits a spot of bother. I am sure, of course,
9 that no money ever changes hand in consideration of this
10 service. But I well recall, on emerging from Bow Street
11 police station last April, after being bailed on an
12 obstruction charge, that I found no fewer than 15
13 monkeys waiting on the pavement outside.
14 "The ECHR provision might tone down, also, some of
15 the hateful relish which the press show in pursuit of
16 their quarry. The wholly unmalicious Selina Scott was
17 remorselessly hunted by media intrusion into her private
18 life. Why? Simply because she is intelligent and
19 beautiful. She complained to the Press Council and they
20 upheld her complaint, but what use was that? The mob,
21 stinking Jacquerie of the streets, are presently a law
22 unto themselves.
23 "It is routine practice for the wife to be goaded
24 without mercy in order to provoke a 'reaction'. If she
25 stays contentedly married to a 'cheat', she is a wimp
1 and a 'doormat'. If she walks out, then it is the press
2 who have scored. Another marriage wrecked, excellent.
3 But if she were to blow her brains out, now that would
4 be a real prize.
5 "And still elusive, though occasionally one must
6 assume in the telescopic sight of every editor, is
7 the ultimate trophy, the most brightly plumaged of all:
8 to accelerate, and then to be the first to capture, the
9 sudden death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 'unexplained
11 The article concludes there and it is noted that
12 the author is Conservative MP for Kensington and
14 Last this afternoon, I read the statement of
15 Professor Pierre Coriat. This too is a statement agreed
16 as uncontroversial. No one sought to dispute its
18 Sir, I shall read from an English translation of
19 the Professor's short statement, although of course
20 we have the French version as well.
21 Statement of PROFESSOR PIERRE CORIAT (read)
22 MR BURNETT: "I, Professor Pierre Coriat, head of the
23 department of anaesthetics at the Pitie-Salpetriere
24 Hospital group in Paris will say:
25 "1. I received a letter dated 1st October 2007 from
1 Martin Smith, solicitor to the inquests into the deaths
2 of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed. Mr Smith
3 enclosed a document with his letter which suggested on
4 its face that I was its author. I understand that
5 the document was first published in a Spanish newspaper
6 but has been reproduced in a book entitled 'Diana,
7 l'Enquete jamais publiee'... "
8 That means "The inquiry that was never published":
9 " ... to support an assertion that Diana was
10 pregnant when she died. The document indeed purports to
11 show that Diana was pregnant when she died. I attach
12 marked PC1 a copy of Mr Smith's letter together with
13 the document, and in addition a translation into English
14 of that document."
15 I wonder if we could have the original of
16 the document and Mr Hughes, I do not know whether you
17 can work the normal magic that Mr Foley does for us and
18 make it a little more --
19 SECRETARY TO THE INQUEST: I do not think you can, on that
21 MR BURNETT: Fair enough.
22 I will read the translation. Before doing so, you
23 might just be able to see at the top that there are some
24 fax dates that show that this was circulating early in
25 1998. The translation is:
1 "Re-animation and Anaesthesiology Department, Head
2 of Department, Professor Pierre Coriat.
3 "Paris, 31st August 1997.
4 "Minister [or dear Minister],
5 "Following the examinations and their results which
6 have already been communicated to you, I confirm to you
7 at present that the blood tests carried out on your
8 request during the intervention on Mrs Diana Frances
9 Spencer's post mortem showed ... a state of gestation of
10 nine to ten weeks. Yours truly..."
11 It is a rather more elaborate signing off but "yours
12 truly", I hope will do. And then copies to Mr Hubert
13 Vedrine, the French Foreign Affairs Minister at the
14 time, Mr Bernard Kouchner, the Health Minister, and
15 Madame Martine Monteil of the Brigade Criminelle.
16 I return to the statement:
17 "2. The document is a crude forgery.
18 "3. I was not the author of the document. It is
19 not on headed paper used by my service. It is clear to
20 me that whoever forged this document was not of French
21 origin. It contains grammatical errors and language
22 I would never use. Indeed a French doctor would not
23 speak of 'gestation' but 'pregnancy'. I should add that
24 French doctors are bound by law to respect
25 the confidentiality of medical information and it is
1 very difficult to accept that any genuine document like
2 this would be provided to journalists or others in
3 breach of that law.
4 "4. It is a matter of regret that somebody should
5 have forged a document of this nature and I am grateful
6 that it was drawn to my attention so that I can
7 demonstrate that it is false."
8 Sir, that is the conclusion of Professor Coriat's
9 statement, and that is the end of the evidence to be
10 read this afternoon.
11 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: Well, now, as far as tomorrow is
12 concerned, I think it is a 10 o'clock start.
13 MR BURNETT: Sir, indeed.
14 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: And your interest in having
15 a lunch break coinciding with the carol service is noted
16 and I think will be arranged.
17 On Wednesday, we have a very early start because
18 we have a witness from New Zealand which means that
19 we will have to sit at 9 o'clock our time, which is
20 10 o'clock in the evening her time. That is the best
21 we can do to organise it. I hope it is not too early
22 for you. The usual arrangements will be made for your
24 MR BURNETT: Sir, tomorrow, I believe that the last witness
25 is a videolink witness from the United States, who we
1 will not be starting until 4 o'clock. Although none of
2 us, I think, believes that that witness's evidence will
3 take very long, we may go a little bit beyond half past
4 four. I do not know if that is ...
5 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: I hope again that does not
6 present any serious problems. Very well then,
7 10 o'clock tomorrow.
8 (2.45 pm)
9 (The court was adjourned until 10.00 am
10 on Tuesday, 18th December 2007)
3 LADY ANNABEL GOLDSMITH (sworn) ................... 1
5 Questions from MR BURNETT ................. 1
7 Questions from MR MANSFIELD ............... 16
9 Questions from MR HORWELL ................. 24
11 MR JEFFREY REES (sworn) ......................... 26
13 Questions from MR HILLIARD ................ 26
15 Questions from MR MANSFIELD ............... 60
17 Questions from MR HORWELL ................. 95
19 Further questions from MR HILLIARD ........ 104
21 Statement of GEORGE YOUNES (read) ................ 108
23 Statement of STEPHEN JORDAN DONNELLY ............. 117
1 Article by ALAN CLARK (read) ..................... 131
3 Statement of PROFESSOR PIERRE CORIAT ............. 136