31 March 2008 - Morning session
1 Monday 31st March 2008
17 (Jury present)
18 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: Mr Burnett, since the last
19 hearing with the jury, I think there are three loose
20 ends that have emerged that need to be tied up: two by
21 courtesy of the French authorities, who have now been
22 able to provide us with details of Henri Paul's probate
23 and also the French courts have now decided what can be
24 released by way of his medical records at the Ritz;
25 the third matter relates to Dr Dion, who we were trying
1 to trace and we have now managed to trace.
2 MR BURNETT: Indeed, sir.
3 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: I think all of these matters
4 ought to be dealt with by uncontroversial evidence being
5 read under Rule 37.
6 MR BURNETT: Sir, that is right, and all the interested
7 persons were notified of that. If it is convenient,
8 Mr Hough will read those.
9 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: Very well.
10 MR HOUGH: Sir, the first is a statement from Martin Smith,
11 solicitor to the inquests, relating to someone called
12 Ms Dion. Mr Smith says this in the statement.
13 Statement of MR MARTIN SMITH (read)
14 MR HOUGH: "On 4th February 2006, an article by
15 the journalist, Sue Reid, appeared in the Daily Mail
16 newspaper entitled 'A question that won't go away'.
17 The author of the article set out this question in the
18 fourth paragraph of the article as follows:
19 "'Yet one question remains unanswered: were the
20 36-year-old and newly divorced Diana and Dodi sharing
21 a secret which, if ever made public, would have rocked
22 the Royal Family to its foundations?'
23 "The article includes the following statement:
24 "'Then again, there's a crucial new witness who
25 treated Diana at the Paris hospital before she died.
1 The female radiologist is believed to be deeply
2 concerned about what she saw on an X-ray of Diana's
3 crushed body, and on a later sonogram, which examined
4 her internal organs.
5 "'The radiologist has told friends that a small
6 foetus of perhaps between 6 and 10 weeks was clearly
7 visible in the Princess's womb.'
8 "According to pre-statement material for Ms Reid,
9 which I exhibit hereto and which was disclosed to
10 the interested persons on 14th November 2007, Ms Reid
11 had a meeting with an officer from Operation Paget on
12 22nd February 2006 at a cafe/wine bar near Kensington
13 High Street. The notes contain the following
14 information stated to have been given by Ms Reid.
15 "Regarding the radiologist:
16 "Her name is Elizabeth Dion. Sue Reid is unable to
17 locate her. The information is from a friend of
18 a friend who works in the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail
19 friend is a society writer/photographer.
20 "According to messages 715 and 730, which I also
21 disclosed to the interested persons on
22 14th November 2007, Detective Sergeant Easton contacted
23 Dr Dion by telephone on 2nd and 12th June 2006.
24 "Through my assistant in Paris, Laurent Guardelli,
25 I have obtained a short statement in French from Dr Dion
1 for the purposes of these inquests. This is dated
2 14th March 2008. Translated into English in this
3 statement, Dr Dion says as follows:
4 "'I, Elizabeth Dion, solemnly declare that on
5 30th and 31st August 1997, I was living in San
6 Francisco, California, and working as a visiting
7 Professor at the University of San Francisco
9 Then Martin Smith says:
10 "I exhibit to this statement copies of the documents
11 to which I refer above.
12 "I believe the facts stated in this statement are
14 The second statement relates to the medical file of
15 Henri Paul. It is also a statement by Mr Smith. He
16 says this:
17 Further statement of MR MARTIN SMITH (read)
18 MR HOUGH: "On 27th March 2008 I received a report from
19 experts appointed by the Paris Regional Court in
20 response to the Coroner's international letter of
21 request dated 17th December 2007. The subject matter of
22 the report was Henri Paul's occupational health file.
23 "The Coroner's international letter of request was
24 the fourth concerning this topic, the first having been
25 sent to the French authorities on 21st June 2006.
1 "The experts who produced this report were
2 Professor Dominique Lecomte and Dr Marceau Spithakis,
3 both of whom are forensic scientists. I exhibit a copy
4 of a translation of their report which is dated
5 27th March 2008 to this statement.
6 "In their report, these experts state that they were
7 instructed by Madame Dutartre, vice president in charge
8 of investigations at the Paris Regional Court, to
9 examine Henri Paul's occupational health file and state
10 whether Mr Paul was affected by a disorder that might
11 have had a bearing on the collision on 31st August 1997.
12 "The experts concluded as follows:
13 "'In the occupational medical file we see a
14 reference during the examination in 1997 to an arterial
15 hypertension with the remark "to be monitored". Taking
16 into account all the factors previously mentioned, this
17 all points to a "labile" arterial hypertension that
18 appeared to be well tolerated. We can therefore say
19 that there is no pathology in this occupational medical
20 file that had a bearing on the road traffic accident.'
21 "The experts also report that Henri Paul's medical
22 examination on 21st February 1986 recorded that he had
23 a tobacco consumption of 30 cigarettes per day and that
24 his medical examination on 7th June 1989 recorded that
25 he smoked 'tobacco 40 cigs per day'. In their forensic
1 discussion, the experts noted 'a relatively high level
2 of smoking which was apparently interrupted of his own
3 accord in 1990'."
4 Mr Smith again says that he believes the facts
5 stated in that statement are true.
6 The third statement relates to M Paul's probate and
7 related matters. It is again a statement from Mr Smith.
8 He says this:
9 Further statement of MR MARTIN SMITH (read)
10 MR HOUGH: "On 4th February 2008, I sent an email to
11 Stuart Benson in which I asked him to provide as soon as
13 "(a) Henri Paul's probate file and any tax returns
14 in his parents' possession and (b) an indication as to
15 whether Henri Paul benefited financially from his
16 brother's death in 1992.
17 "On 5th February 2008 I received an email from
18 Mr Benson. In his email he stated that arrangements
19 were in hand through M and Mme Paul's French lawyer
20 (Maitre Meyer) to obtain as soon as possible various
21 items requested by the Coroner including those described
23 "On 17th March 2008 I sent an email to Mr Benson
24 asking him to provide outstanding material as a matter
25 of urgency.
1 "On 27th March 2008 I received a letter from
2 Stuart Benson which attached a 'Declaration de
3 Succession' for Henri Paul. My understanding is that
4 this document is similar to a grant of probate in
5 the United Kingdom. I exhibit a copy of Mr Benson's
6 letter and the declaration to this statement.
7 "In his letter, Mr Benson stated that the French
8 lawyers told him that if part of the declared estate had
9 been inherited (for example from his deceased brother),
10 that would have been shown separately; they were
11 therefore confident that Henri Paul inherited nothing
12 from his deceased elder brother.
13 "Mr Benson continued that the estate showed that
14 a debt from M Pascal Robert was still outstanding at
15 Henri Paul's death. He recalled that a suggestion had
16 been made by Paul Laffan that money coming into
17 Henri Paul's accounts prior to his death might be
18 explained by repayment of this debt. Mr Benson stated
19 that this was clearly not the case.
20 "Mr Benson stated that the French lawyers had not as
21 yet been able to trace any former tax returns."
22 Again, Mr Smith says that he believes the facts
23 stated in that statement are true.
24 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: Thank you very much.
2 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: Members of the jury, for the last
3 ten and a half years, there have been those who claimed
4 that what happened in the Alma Tunnel was no tragic
5 accident but a staged collision intended to cause and in
6 fact causing the death of Diana, Princess of Wales,
7 along with the driver, Henri Paul, and Dodi Al Fayed.
8 Foremost among those claimants has been
9 Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodi's father. There are no doubt
10 those who genuinely believe this to be the case and will
11 continue to do so regardless of any verdict you return.
12 You have heard the evidence and it is your decision that
13 matters and not anyone else's. You will have been
14 reassured to have heard that Mohamed Al Fayed told you
15 on oath that he will accept your verdicts. No doubt
16 the other interested persons will do likewise.
17 But these inquests, despite the time that they have
18 taken and the cost, have served an important purpose.
19 The conspiracy theories and the rumour and suspicion
20 that they have generated and that have in many instances
21 been encouraged by the media have been examined in
22 the minutest detail through the evidence of over
23 250 witnesses.
24 No one, except you and I, and I think the gentleman
25 in the public gallery with "Diana" and "Dodi" painted on
1 his forehead has sat through every word of evidence.
2 No one is as well equipped as you are to decide
3 the facts of the case. The benefit of these last six
4 months is that various propositions that were being
5 asserted have been shown to be so demonstrably without
6 foundation that they are no longer being pursued by
7 Mohamed Al Fayed's lawyers, even if he still carries
8 the belief of their truth in his own mind. They are not
9 being pursued because there is not a shred of evidence
10 to support them.
11 Foremost among them is the proposition that Diana
12 was assassinated by the Secret Intelligence Service on
13 the orders of the Duke of Edinburgh. There is no
14 evidence that the Duke of Edinburgh ordered Diana's
15 execution and there is no evidence that the Secret
16 Intelligence Service or any other Government agency
17 organised it.
18 Mr Horwell, Queen's Counsel, suggested during
19 cross-examination that one of the features of conspiracy
20 theories is that as one allegation is shown to be
21 unfounded, so another crops up and so on. Thus, we have
22 moved from the Duke ordering assassination to
23 a suggestion that he created a "serious climate of
24 hostility". He was not himself guilty of any crime, but
25 his views fed into the thinking of the day. Those who
1 are committed to the interests of the Monarchy may have
2 formed their own view as to what would be in the
3 Monarchy's best interests and how best to protect it
4 from perceived threats. It may have been, so it is
5 said, such persons who independently staged the crash in
6 the tunnel in order to frighten or injure Diana if not
7 actually intending to kill her, and that this was done
8 in the interests of Queen and Country.
9 One reason, perhaps the reason, why the conspiracy
10 has shifted from the original allegation that the Duke
11 of Edinburgh was its mastermind is the unprecedented
12 manner in which the Secret Intelligence Service and
13 indeed others have been prepared to open their doors and
14 give evidence about their inner workings. No longer can
15 it be said, as Mohamed Al Fayed has frequently
16 complained, that there was a steel wall that it was
17 completely impossible to penetrate.
18 The allegations against the Duke of Edinburgh are
19 not the only subjects of rumour and suspicion that have
20 been dispelled by our wide-ranging examination of
21 the evidence. As I said at the beginning of
22 the inquests, I expected that, as we progressed, some
23 issues would fall away and others would come to
24 the fore. This has proved to be so.
25 What are the possible verdicts? First, applying
1 the law, I have determined that it is not open to you to
2 find that this was unlawful killing by the Duke of
3 Edinburgh or anyone else in a staged accident. I shall
4 explain why shortly. It is, however, open to you to
5 find unlawful killing due to the gross negligence of
6 the following vehicles in the manner in which they were
7 following and hounding the Mercedes. It is also open to
8 you to find unlawful killing through the gross
9 negligence of Henri Paul because of the speed and manner
10 of his driving and any alcohol he may have consumed.
11 Further, it is open to you to find unlawful killing by
12 both the following vehicles and Henri Paul together.
13 If none of these verdicts is established, it is open
14 to you to find accidental death in that the collision
15 was caused through one or more causes, without gross
16 negligence on anyone's part. Finally, it is possible
17 for you to return an open verdict if you conclude that
18 the evidence does not establish any of the other
20 I shall explain shortly what is necessary to
21 establish each of these five verdicts and the standard
22 of proof required to do so. In due course I shall sum
23 up the evidence to you and, at various points, link that
24 evidence to the legal directions I am about to give you.
25 We have spent much of the last six months
1 considering whether the collision in the Alma Tunnel all
2 those years ago may have been anything more than
3 a tragic accident. In other words, whether anyone
4 staged what happened. Later this week you will be
5 retiring to consider your verdicts. The decisions you
6 make will be important ones and they are yours and yours
7 alone. But before that, I have to sum the case up to
8 you. In doing so, I have two tasks. I have to direct
9 you on the law and you must accept, without question, my
10 directions on the law; secondly, I shall summarise
11 the facts and, in doing so, I shall draw your attention
12 to what appear to me to be the more important issues in
13 the case.
14 But just as the law is for me, so the facts are for
15 you. It is for you to decide what evidence is relevant
16 and significant, what evidence you accept and reject,
17 and which witnesses you think are honest and reliable.
18 It is your view that counts and not any view you may
19 think I have. So if you think I have a view about
20 a particular aspect of the evidence and it does not
21 accord with yours, reject it. Equally, if I do not
22 refer, in the course of this summing-up, to evidence
23 which you consider important, you must not feel tempted
24 to ignore it. You must consider all the evidence.
25 My direction in law to you is, as I have said, that
1 it is not open to you to find that Diana and Dodi were
2 unlawfully killed in a staged accident. Why, you may
3 ask, is this so? Surely that is just what we, the jury,
4 are here to decide. The answer is this: the law is
5 clear -- and no one has argued otherwise -- that unless
6 there is sufficient evidence upon which a jury can
7 conclude that they are sure a deceased was unlawfully
8 killed in a particular way, the Coroner is required to
9 take the burden on his own shoulders and withdraw that
10 verdict from the jury.
11 When a coroner leaves a verdict of unlawful killing,
12 in this case on the basis of a staged accident, to
13 a jury, he must identify to the jury the evidence on
14 which they could be sure of such a conclusion. But in
15 this case sufficient evidence simply does not exist.
16 Speculation, surmise and belief are one thing; evidence
17 is another.
18 This does not, however, mean that all
19 the suggestions you have heard about the possibility of
20 a staged crash are irrelevant. Because there is some
21 evidence, albeit limited and of doubtful quality, that
22 the crash was staged, it will be necessary for you to
23 consider it in the context of the five verdicts that are
24 open to you.
25 If you are not satisfied so you are sure that this
1 was unlawful killing by the following vehicles or
2 Henri Paul and you do not think that the crash was
3 probably an accident, you would return an open verdict.
4 So if you thought that the crash had probably been
5 staged, you would return an open verdict. Whatever your
6 verdict, whether unlawful killing, accident or open, it
7 must be unanimous. There are circumstances in which
8 a majority verdict can be accepted, but they have not
9 arisen in this case and, if they do, I shall give you
10 a separate direction about it.
11 You may be wondering why it is that over ten years
12 after the event, you are considering, in the greatest
13 detail, matters said to be relevant to the crash in
14 the Paris underpass on 31st August 1997. In the first
15 place there always had to be an inquest because
16 the deaths of Diana and Dodi were unnatural and their
17 bodies were returned to this country. But why the delay
18 and why the great detail?
19 The fact that one of the dead was Diana, Princess of
20 Wales, created the most enormous media interest, and
21 even leaving aside Mohamed Al Fayed, there were
22 mutterings from the start, "Was this really an
23 accident?" The paparazzi involvement triggered
24 the French investigation. Then there was the Paget
25 inquiry. Finally Mohamed Al Fayed has continued to
1 pursue his allegations with vigour and persistence, and
2 no doubt at considerable cost, determined to leave not
3 even the smallest stone unturned.
4 As you have been reminded on many occasions, this is
5 an inquiry and I have considered it appropriate to look
6 into many issues to confirm or allay suspicion.
7 The very fact that these allegations have been
8 circulating during the last ten years, and, I would add,
9 not only coming from Mohamed Al Fayed, makes it
10 important to put matters to rest one way or the other,
11 once and for all. Many of the rumours you may think, if
12 not media-generated, have been media-encouraged, and
13 where there is no substance in them, it is in everyone's
14 interests that this should be shown to be the case,
15 rather than they be left in the air.
16 The fact that there has been evidence about a topic
17 does not of itself mean that it is necessary for me to
18 remind you of it in any detail in summing-up or even
19 that it has any relevance to the questions that you have
20 to decide. We have, as I pointed out to Mr Mansfield
21 QC, during the evidence of Sir John Adye, the former
22 head of GCHQ, chased a lot of hares since last October.
23 No one who has not lost a child or a very close
24 loved one can perhaps ever truly comprehend the
25 devastating effect of such a loss and how it gnaws away
1 at one. You will, I am sure, have great sympathy for
2 Mohamed Al Fayed and his family because of that. You
3 will also, I am sure, have in mind that not only was
4 Diana an iconic figure, but also that two sons have lost
5 a wonderful and devoted mother and that they too have
6 suffered an irreparable loss, a loss which must be
7 the harder to bear because not only of the intimate
8 details that have been publicised during the case, but
9 also their every move is watched so intently by
10 the world's media.
11 It was not only her sons who lost a mother, but
12 other family members who lost a sister and a daughter.
13 You will have sympathy too for the frail parents of
14 Henri Paul. But the bottom line, members of the jury,
15 is you are charged with returning a verdict on
16 the evidence and you must decide and assess what you
17 make of the evidence, dispassionately putting your own
18 emotions, whatever they may be, on one side.
19 Your duty is to find the facts and reach
20 a conclusion on the evidence, and that transcends any
21 desire, for example, to mark your disapproval of
22 anyone's behaviour or to make a statement of some kind.
23 It is true that whatever your verdict, it is likely
24 to be seen as a defining moment. But you must
25 disregard, when you come to analyse the evidence, that
1 this is no ordinary case and decide it as you would any
3 This is no ordinary case and the inquest has been no
4 ordinary inquest. It does not need me to tell you that.
5 The collision in the tunnel and the resultant deaths of
6 Diana, Dodi and Henri Paul have caused millions of words
7 to be written, been the subject of numerous television
8 programmes and generated a multitude of newspaper and
9 magazine articles as well as books. There has been
10 seemingly endless speculation, both in this country and
12 Up and down the land and indeed throughout the world
13 there are those who have firm views about the case, but,
14 as I have said, you are the ones who have listened to
15 every word of evidence and, most importantly, been able
16 to see and assess every person who has given oral
17 evidence. Each of you has taken an oath to inquire into
18 the deaths and return verdicts according to the
19 evidence, and anyone who has been in court will be aware
20 of the enormous time, care and commitment that each of
21 you has given to this case.
22 Because of the background that I have described and
23 the amount of information and disinformation circulating
24 in the media, these inquests have involved a far more
25 wide-ranging inquiry than would be appropriate in most
1 inquests. Apart from the inquiries by the French and
2 the Metropolitan Police, Mohamed Al Fayed has, as you
3 have heard, conducted his own investigation, headed by
4 Mr John Macnamara, his former head of security.
5 The reasons why these inquests have been so
6 wide-ranging is, as I have said many times, to confirm
7 or allay rumour or suspicion. Many issues have been
8 investigated in evidence that have turned out to have no
9 or minimal bearing on what you have to decide. But
10 it is important that we have heard evidence about these
11 matters, otherwise people would be able to say in
12 the future that the inquests did not consider this or
13 that, and if they had done so, your decision might have
14 been different.
15 You have a complete transcript of all 30 lever-arch
16 files of the evidence and it is there for you to refer
17 to during your deliberations, if you need it. But
18 I strongly advise against trying to read it through from
19 beginning to end. It is there for your reference if you
20 need it. Your assessments and impressions of the
21 evidence will have been accumulating over time and those
22 assessments and impressions are very important.
23 I have said it so many times already that it
24 probably does not need saying again, but you decide
25 the case on the evidence you have heard in this court
1 and not on anything you may have seen, read or heard
2 elsewhere. So continue to ignore media reports. It is
3 especially important not to conduct your own
4 investigations on the internet because so many things
5 said about this case out of court have turned out to be
6 inaccurate, if not plainly wrong.
7 One of the features of this case is the numerous
8 occasions on which witnesses have said things elsewhere
9 before they came here to give evidence to you. Obvious
10 examples are statements to Paget officers and statements
11 to the French juge or made in the French inquiry.
12 Numerous books and articles have been written too, some
13 by those who have given evidence to you, others by
14 ghosts on their behalf. Bear in mind this statement of
15 the obvious, that what sells books is their contents.
16 You may think that some accounts written by some authors
17 are either plainly untrue or at least contain
18 embellishments of the truth.
19 You will wish to bear in mind that witnesses have
20 been speaking about events many years ago and
21 recollections fade. It is easy to confuse what you
22 remember with what you have heard, read or seen
23 somewhere else. The collision took place over ten years
24 ago. Unsurprisingly, many witnesses have been reminded
25 about what they have said in statements made nearer
1 the time. Sometimes they have agreed that that is their
2 best or, on occasions, only recollection. In other
3 instances, witnesses have been cross-examined on
4 the basis that years before they said something
5 contradictory to their evidence to you and the
6 suggestion is that what they said to you cannot be
7 relied on.
8 You will also bear in mind that first-hand evidence
9 is more likely to be reliable than second-hand evidence.
10 What a witness saw or heard with their own eyes or ears
11 is likely to be more reliable than what someone else
12 told them they saw or heard, and there has been a good
13 deal of second-hand and even third-hand evidence in this
15 A lot of evidence has been read to you. This falls
16 into three categories. First, where what a witness says
17 is uncontroversial, it obviously makes sense to read
18 the evidence rather than bring the witness to court. An
19 example is Dr Lipsedge, who dealt with the effect of
20 head injuries on Trevor Rees' memory. The second
21 category is where the witness has died. Obviously
22 the best we can do is read his evidence, but you must
23 make allowances for the fact that there has been no
24 opportunity to test what he says in cross-examination.
25 The third category is where the witness's evidence is
1 not uncontroversial but, for some reason or another, he
2 cannot be brought to court because, for example, he is
3 abroad and refuses to give evidence or cannot be found.
4 I have no power to compel the attendance of a witness
5 who is outside England and Wales.
6 The French authorities have given us considerable
7 assistance in summoning witnesses and providing
8 videolink facilities, but the bottom line is that they
9 have not compelled the attendance of witnesses who have
10 refused to attend. In these circumstances, I have been
11 obliged to call another witness to introduce their
12 evidence. This has been the case with all the paparazzi
13 except Darmon, the rider of Rat's motorbike.
14 Some of these witnesses simply do not want to be
15 involved in these proceedings so long after the event.
16 Others have an axe to grind and may not wish to submit
17 themselves to cross-examination. The paparazzi are
18 obvious examples. You must treat anything they said in
19 their statements with particular care. They were under
20 criminal investigation in France. It was obviously in
21 their interests to distance themselves, if they could,
22 from proximity to the Mercedes between the time it left
23 the rear of the Ritz and the collision.
24 You have not heard in person from Professor Lecomte,
25 Dr Pepin and others concerned with the analysis of
1 Henri Paul's samples, although you know in essence what
2 is said by them second-hand through the English experts.
3 It is a great pity they have not seen fit to give
4 evidence because, as you have heard, there are a number
5 of serious criticisms about the professionalism of what
6 they did. They have not explained what, if any, answer
7 there is to apparent serious shortcomings on their part.
8 There are question marks, therefore, about the
9 conclusions to be drawn from the analysis of the blood
10 samples said to have come from Henri Paul. I shall come
11 to that in more detail in due course.
12 There are no doubt some witnesses from whom you
13 would like to have heard but have not. The paparazzi,
14 Professor Lecomte and Dr Pepin are obvious examples.
15 But you have to decide the case on the evidence that you
16 have heard. When I opened the case to you, I explained
17 that it was not necessary for you to solve every
18 subplot, unravel every thread, although we have gone
19 a good deal further in this case than we would
20 ordinarily go.
21 In a case where someone dies suddenly, it is perhaps
22 inevitable that there will be things about them or their
23 lives that are quite unexplained, even to those who knew
24 them best, but which, if they were alive, could be
25 readily explained. And this may also be true of others
1 who, for whatever reason, have not given evidence in
2 person to you. Things can assume mysterious proportions
3 or even look potentially sinister when, if only you had
4 heard from the witness, there might be a perfectly good
5 explanation. Then again, there might not be.
6 A good example is perhaps Dr Dumestre Toulet's
7 receipt. Before we heard from her, you might have been
8 thinking, "How has Dr Pepin got a receipt for sending
9 blood to her on a date which is after the date when she
10 analysed it?" It is a matter for you, but it may be
11 that after you heard from her, you accepted her
12 explanation that it was a receipt for the report that
13 she had sent to him after the analysis had been carried
15 Finally, before I leave the subject of witnesses
16 generally, I want to say a word about expert witnesses;
17 that is those who have been asked to review aspects of
18 the evidence and express an opinion. You have heard
19 from a number of these. Professor Treasure and
20 Professor Forrest are examples. There are others,
21 including those who helped to reconstruct the collision.
22 Such witnesses, members of the jury, do not give
23 evidence primarily to establish facts, but to help you
24 to interpret them in the light of their expertise. You
25 are not obliged to accept an expert's evidence any more
1 than that of any other witness. They give opinion
2 evidence to assist you, based on their expertise.
3 Several experts sought to assist you as to
4 the correct interpretation of the pathology and
5 toxicology evidence relating to Henri Paul. Sometimes
6 experts disagree and it is for you to decide who you
7 accept or what evidence you accept and what evidence you
9 There was, for example, disagreement between experts
10 about the precise point on the road where the collision
11 took place between the Mercedes and the white Fiat Uno.
12 Experts are entitled to give evidence as to facts as
13 well as opinion evidence, and, indeed, some of the
14 experts, such as Professor Forrest, gave evidence of
15 fact of procedures carried out by French scientists.
16 This was helpful in the absence of those scientists.
17 I must also remind you once again that the
18 conclusions of the Paget inquiry and the French inquiry
19 are not relevant to your verdict. Neither had the
20 opportunity of considering all the evidence that you
21 have listened to and heard tested in cross-examination
22 over the past six months.
23 The other point I should emphasise once again about
24 the evidence is that these are not adversarial
25 proceedings, as are criminal or civil litigation, but an
1 inquiry to establish how two people came by their deaths
2 and to confirm or allay rumour or suspicion about their
4 Further, you only act on evidence and not on
5 a person's assertion or belief unless it is supported by
6 evidence. It is true that you can draw inferences from
7 evidence, but the evidence must be there in the first
8 place from which to draw the inference. An inference is
9 no more than a common sense conclusion based on
10 the evidence which you accept.
11 Sometimes a jury is asked to find some fact proved
12 by direct evidence; for example, if there is reliable
13 evidence from a witness who actually saw an event; if
14 there is CCTV evidence recording a fact. These would be
15 good examples of direct evidence. On the other hand
16 it is often the case that direct evidence of some fact
17 is not available and circumstantial evidence has to be
18 relied upon. That simply means placing reliance upon
19 evidence of various circumstances relating to the fact
20 or facts which, when taken together, will lead to a sure
21 conclusion concerning the fact.
22 Circumstantial evidence can be powerful evidence,
23 but it is important that you examine it with care and
24 consider whether the evidence is reliable and proves
25 the relevant fact. In looking at circumstantial
1 evidence, you need to consider any other circumstances
2 which may be of sufficient reliability to strengthen or
3 weaken your conclusions. Finally, you should be careful
4 to distinguish between arriving at conclusions based on
5 reliable circumstantial evidence and mere speculation.
6 Speculating in a case amounts to no more than guessing
7 or making up theories without good evidence to support
8 them. You must not do that.
9 In criminal cases, where a conspiracy is alleged
10 based upon concrete evidence, juries are generally
11 directed that it is rare to have direct evidence of
12 a criminal conspiracy because when people make
13 agreements to commit crimes, they can be expected to do
14 so privately and without committing themselves to
15 writing. For that reason, juries in such cases are also
16 directed that they should look at evidence of the
17 behaviour of the accused during the relevant period to
18 determine whether they were involved in a conspiracy.
19 All that is good common sense. However, it does not
20 mean that a jury in any case can indulge in guesswork or
22 Lies: one of the regrettable features of this case
23 is the number of people who it appears have told lies in
24 the witness box or elsewhere. Some are liars by their
25 own admission. I refer to James Andanson, Paul Burrell
1 and John Macnamara. Others have either admitted telling
2 half truths or part of their evidence may have shown, in
3 one respect or more, that either in court or previously
4 they were not telling the truth. But I must give you
5 this direction.
6 You must first decide whether the person whose
7 evidence you are considering has lied, rather than
8 having made an honest mistake. If you conclude that he
9 has, you must then go on to bear this in mind. People
10 tell lies for a variety of different reasons, for
11 example, because they think it is in the interests of
12 their employer or to further their own interests or they
13 want to be in the limelight or they have a grudge
14 against some other individual or to embellish their
15 case. It does not follow that because you are satisfied
16 that a witness has lied on one or some matters, that
17 nothing he has told you can be relied on. It may be
18 that the whole of a witness's evidence is demonstrably
19 unreliable, like, for example, Morel, but that is not
20 necessarily the case.
21 There is a particular problem with the paparazzi.
22 The only member of the paparazzi from whom you have
23 heard oral evidence is Darmon, and, strictly speaking,
24 he was not a paparazzo, although, for practical
25 purposes, we have treated him as one. It was said that
1 part of his evidence amounted to a series of
2 self-serving lies. You heard him give evidence and you
3 will form your own view to what extent he was telling
4 the truth.
5 You have not had that advantage with the other
6 paparazzi. When their evidence was introduced through
7 Commissaire Gigou and Inspector Carpenter, it was
8 pointed out that what some of them had said in their
9 statements appeared to be untrue. You have not had
10 the advantage of hearing them being tested about it.
11 As I said at the beginning of these inquests and
12 have repeated from time to time, it is your duty
13 diligently to inquire into the deaths of Diana and Dodi
14 on the evidence you have heard in court. You must not
15 be influenced by any external matters such as media
16 reports or information that you had accumulated in
17 the years before you began to hear the evidence. It is
18 for that reason that I directed you not to speak to
19 anyone outside the jury, including family and friends,
20 about the case, to ensure that you were not subject to
21 unintended influences. Members of the jury, that
22 remains very important. Additionally, I emphasised that
23 you should not seek information from elsewhere, for
24 example the internet. That too remains an important
1 All 11 of you are responsible for returning verdicts
2 and conclusions in these inquests. Therefore, as I said
3 at the beginning, you should only discuss the case
4 amongst yourselves when you are all present, in
5 the privacy of your jury room. So please continue to
6 remember not to discuss the case in small groups when
7 other members of the jury are not present.
8 Very rarely, something may happen (either outside
9 your jury room, eg someone not on the jury apparently
10 trying to speak to you about the case, or inside
11 the jury room itself) which causes you real concern. If
12 any of you has such a concern, especially after you
13 retire to consider your verdicts and conclusions, please
14 inform me about it at once, discreetly in a written
15 note. Do not leave it until after the case is over
16 because it might then be impossible to put matters
18 I should say something about the advocates. Counsel
19 for the inquests, Mr Burnett QC, Mr Hilliard QC and
20 Mr Hough, are here to act entirely impartially and
21 examine the witnesses first on facts relevant to
22 the inquiry. They have also tested the evidence of
23 witnesses. Interested persons are entitled to be
24 represented. Not all have chosen to be.
25 Counsel for the interested persons are here to
1 represent their clients and are entitled to bring out
2 any additional facts that may be perceived to be
3 relevant to their clients and to challenge evidence with
4 which their clients disagree. As I have had to remind
5 some of them more than once, the proceedings are not
7 As I have already told you, an inquest is
8 a fact-finding exercise. The Coroners Rules prohibit
9 any verdict that appears to determine civil liability
10 generally or criminal liability of a named person.
11 I shall return in a moment to give you a fuller
12 explanation of what this means, but it limits what you
13 are entitled to say when you return your verdicts.
14 I now turn to direct you in law on the verdicts you
15 may return. You are about to be handed a hard copy of
16 what I am now saying.
17 You will probably wish to refer to this later and it
18 may help you to have it so that you can follow it as
19 I speak it.
20 You are asked to consider five different verdicts.
21 The same verdict should obviously be returned in
22 the case of Dodi as is returned in the case of Diana.
23 The five possible verdicts are:
24 (1) Unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of
25 the following vehicles);
1 (2) Unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of
2 the Mercedes);
3 (3) Unlawful killing (grossly negligent driving of
4 the following vehicles and of the Mercedes);
5 (4) Accidental death;
6 (5) Open verdict.
7 You should first of all consider the first three
8 verdicts together. If you consider that none of those
9 verdicts should be returned, you should then consider
10 the fourth verdict and then the fifth verdict.
11 Unlawful killing by gross negligence manslaughter:
13 I have indicated that it would be open to you to
14 find unlawful killing by gross negligence on the part of
15 the drivers or riders following the Mercedes or by
16 grossly negligent driving of the Mercedes or both. Such
17 unlawful killing is a form of the very serious crime of
18 manslaughter. What then are the ingredients of unlawful
19 killing by gross negligence? Before you can return
20 a verdict of unlawful killing, you must be satisfied so
21 that you are sure:
22 First, that the person or persons whose driving you
23 are considering owed a duty of care to the deceased.
24 Here, that would be the duty that one road user normally
25 owes to another.
1 Second, that the person or persons whose driving you
2 are considering breached that duty of care. Put
3 shortly, whether his or their driving was negligent;
4 that is to say, fell below the standard of driving
5 expected of a reasonably competent driver.
6 Third, that the breach of duty you have identified
7 caused the deaths. It would not need to be the sole
8 cause of the deaths. It would be sufficient for the
9 breach of duty to be a significant contributory cause of
10 the crash and deaths.
11 Fourth, if you are sure of all those things, you
12 must go on to consider whether the breach of duty should
13 be characterised as gross negligence and therefore
14 a crime. The essence of the matter is whether, having
15 regard to the risk of death involved, the conduct of the
16 person or persons whose driving you are considering was
17 so bad in all the circumstances as to amount to
18 a criminal act. What that means is that you would have
19 to be sure that the breach of duty that you have
20 identified was so gross as to amount to the very serious
21 crime of manslaughter.
22 The standard of proof that applies when you consider
23 questions of gross negligence manslaughter is the
24 criminal standard: namely you must be satisfied so that
25 you are sure in respect of each of the elements that
1 I have identified. It is not enough, as I am sure you
2 are aware now, to prove mere negligence. Ordinarily,
3 negligence gives rise to claims only for damages, but to
4 consider a person guilty of manslaughter, you have to go
5 a lot further. You must be sure that he has been
6 grossly negligent.
7 Now, what does "grossly negligent" mean? In broad
8 terms, as I have said, the question is posed in this
9 way: you have to consider whether, having regard to the
10 risk of death involved, the conduct of the driver or
11 drivers in question was so bad as in all the
12 circumstances to amount, in your judgment, to a criminal
13 act or omission.
14 You might find that a rather circular definition.
15 It is apparent from what I have already said that it is
16 not enough that the conduct calls for compensation. Nor
17 is it enough that you feel that the acts or omissions of
18 the driver or drivers in question would call, in your
19 judgment, for some form of punishment. What you have to
20 be convinced about is that the negligence was bad enough
21 to be condemned as the grave crime of manslaughter.
22 In considering the extent to which the driving in
23 question must deviate from mere breach of duty and mere
24 negligence, if I may call it that, you might derive some
25 assistance from the word "reckless". You probably have
1 a pretty clear understanding of that word.
2 The allegation of fault in this case could only fairly
3 be categorised as grossly negligent if the driver or
4 drivers in your judgment was or were wholly indifferent
5 to an obvious risk of death or actually foresaw that
6 risk of death, but determined to run it nonetheless.
7 Only then could you reach the threshold of contemplating
8 that the negligent action is of such a heinous or
9 flagrant character as to be fairly categorised as
10 deserving of severe punishment for the grave crime of
12 Another way of looking at it is this: you should
13 embark on the task of placing yourself in the position
14 of the driver of the Mercedes on the one hand or the
15 following vehicle on the other, going along the
16 expressway and approaching the Alma Tunnel. It is in
17 that context that, when considering an individual's
18 action, you must reflect upon whether there was an
19 obvious, serious risk of death to the passengers in
20 the Mercedes and that the driver or drivers concerned
21 were either wholly indifferent to that risk or, having
22 recognised that risk to be present, deliberately chose
23 to run the risk by continuing what they were doing.
24 Separate treatment.
25 Although, as you may well think, the driving of the
1 Mercedes and of those vehicles following it were linked,
2 you must consider the driving of the Mercedes quite
3 separately from that of the following vehicles.
4 The question for you, when looking at the Mercedes, is
5 whether the driver was grossly negligent in his driving
6 in a respect that caused or contributed to the crash and
7 the resulting deaths. The position concerning
8 the following vehicles should also be looked at
10 It may be that you will be able to isolate
11 the conduct of individual drivers or riders (even if you
12 do not know their names) with sufficient clarity to
13 enable you to decide one way or another whether the
14 driving was grossly negligent and caused or contributed
15 to the crash and consequent deaths. But you are also
16 entitled to look at the conduct of a number of riders
17 and drivers of following vehicles together, if you are
18 satisfied that they were engaged in a "joint
19 enterprise". That does not require an agreement in
20 advance by those people. The question, in essence, is
21 "Were they in it together?" You may rely upon conduct
22 of particular persons involved to support a conclusion
23 that they were "in it together" in the sense that they
24 were consciously chasing the Mercedes in concert with
25 the others.
1 Approach to the first three verdicts.
2 You may decide that you are sure that the crash and
3 deaths were caused by the grossly negligent driving on
4 the part of one or more of the following drivers, but
5 not on the part of the Mercedes driver. If so, you
6 should return the first verdict: unlawful killing,
7 (grossly negligent driving of the following vehicles).
8 Secondly, you may decide that you are sure that
9 the crash and deaths were caused by grossly negligent
10 driving on the part of the Mercedes driver but not on
11 the part of the following vehicles. If so, you should
12 return the second verdict: unlawful killing, (grossly
13 negligent driving of the Mercedes).
14 Thirdly you may decide that you are sure that
15 the crash and deaths were caused by grossly negligent
16 driving on the part of the Mercedes driver and
17 the following vehicles, looking at them quite
18 separately. If so, you should return the third verdict:
19 unlawful killing, (grossly negligent driving of the
20 following vehicles and of the Mercedes).
21 Accidental death.
22 You may conclude that, whilst there was bad driving
23 in evidence on the approach to the Alma Tunnel, it was
24 not so bad that you can be sure that these deaths were
25 caused by the gross negligence of anyone. If that is
1 the position, you must go on to consider the question of
2 accidental death.
3 The standard of proof required for you to return
4 a verdict of accidental death is different. It is
5 the civil standard of balance of probabilities, which
6 means no more than that something is more likely than
7 not. You will return verdicts of accidental death if
8 you are satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that
9 the crash and subsequent deaths were the result of an
11 When considering whether these deaths were
12 the result of an accident, you must look at all of
13 the evidence, including such evidence as there may be
14 which might provide support for the contention that
15 the crash was deliberately staged.
16 Open verdict.
17 If you unanimously decide that the evidence does not
18 support any of the verdicts which I have identified,
19 then you are entitled to return an open verdict. The
20 definition of this verdict is that the evidence is
21 insufficient to support any substantive verdict to
22 the relevant standard of proof. If that were to be
23 the situation, it would be a failure of the evidence,
24 not of yours. But do not use an open verdict because
25 you cannot establish a peripheral point about the crash.
1 Do not use an open verdict because you disagree among
2 yourselves. And do not use an open verdict as a mark of
3 censure or disapproval. Your duty is to find the facts
4 and reach conclusions on the evidence and this must
5 transcend any feelings you have in the matter.
6 Narrative conclusions.
7 I shall now ask for you to be provided with two
8 inquisitions: [one for Dodi] and [one for Diana]. An
9 inquisition is a formal document which records
10 the conclusions of the jury. Some uncontroversial
11 matters have been filled in. You are at liberty to
12 amend or correct those details if you think I have it
13 wrong. Your very important task is to complete two
14 parts of each inquisition: parts 3 and 4. Part 4 is
15 where you write the verdict. You will write one of the
16 five verdicts I have given to you. Part 3 is headed
17 "Time, place and circumstances of death". As you will
18 see, a passage has been typed in. I shall deal with
19 Diana's inquisition for simplicity's sake.
20 Diana, Princess of Wales, died at the
21 Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris at around 4.00 am on
22 31st August 1997, as the result of a motor crash which
23 occurred in the Alma Underpass in Paris on
24 31st August 1997 at around 12.22 am. The crash was
25 caused or contributed to by ...
1 You will then, members of the jury, consider each of
2 the following and consider whether it can be said that
3 any of them was a matter which made a causal
4 contribution to the crash. You should write in any of
5 them which you consider, on the balance of
6 probabilities, made a material contribution to
7 the crash. You can write in as many or as few as you
8 wish. They are:
9 (i) the speed and manner of driving of the Mercedes;
10 (ii) the speed and manner of driving of the
11 following vehicles;
12 (iii) the manner of driving of a white Fiat Uno
13 ahead of the Mercedes;
14 (iv) the impairment of the judgment of the driver of
15 the Mercedes through alcohol.
16 (v) one or more bright lights.
17 You will then see the words "In addition, the death
18 of the deceased was caused or contributed to by ...
19 [delete as appropriate]."
20 There are then three possible causes which might or
21 might not be regarded as contributing to death:
22 (i) the fact that the deceased was not wearing
23 a seat-belt;
24 (ii) the fact that the Mercedes struck the pillar in
25 the Alma Tunnel (rather than colliding with something
2 And in Diana's case only:
3 (iii) the loss of an opportunity to render medical
5 Again, you may write in as many or as few of those
6 as you find established. These are potential causes of
7 death as distinct from potential causes of the crash.
8 The difference in general is a matter of common sense.
9 Failure to wear a seat-belt cannot have caused this
10 crash, but it may have contributed to their deaths.
11 There was also some evidence that the fact of striking
12 the pillar rather than, for example, the opposite wall,
13 increased the forces involved and the likelihood of
15 You will note that the option to include a reference
16 to medical treatment only arises in the case of Diana,
17 otherwise all the factors will be the same. I have
18 explained that your function is to answer the questions
19 posed by the law: namely who the deceased were, when,
20 where and how they came by their deaths. You fulfil
21 that important statutory task by completing the
22 inquisition forms in the way I have described. The law
23 requires that neither you nor I shall express an opinion
24 on any matter other than those questions (except for
25 certain formulaic particulars required by the
1 Registration Acts, which are already typed on the draft
3 Additionally, no verdict can be framed in such a way
4 as to appear to determine any question of criminal
5 liability on the part of a named person or civil
6 liability. There is a good reason for this rule.
7 Because inquests are inquiries, they do not have all
8 the procedural rules which exist to protect defendants
9 in criminal and civil cases. Therefore, Parliament has
10 decided that inquest verdicts should not appear to
11 determine a question of criminal liability of a named
12 person, even though an unlawful killing verdict amounts
13 to a finding that a crime has been committed and even
14 though it may be obvious who the jury believe have
15 committed the crime.
16 Similarly, Parliament has decided that inquest
17 verdicts should not appear to determine civil liability.
18 By following the directions I have given, you and I will
19 abide by these rules.
20 The inquisition forms which you have and the
21 directions I have given have been carefully composed to
22 record material conclusions without breaching the rules.
23 If there are any other matters that you wish to add,
24 please communicate the substance of the matter to me in
25 writing before you do so, and I will consider whether
1 it is appropriate, having regard to the rules, that you
2 do so.
3 We will now break off for our mid-morning break for
4 quarter of an hour, which I certainly want, even if you
6 (11.15 am)
7 (A short break)
8 (11.32 am)
9 (Jury present)
10 LORD JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: I turn next to an overview of the
11 conspiracy theories. It may be helpful if I were to
12 give an overview of the conspiracy theories. We know
13 that Diana and Dodi died as a result of a car crash, but
14 the underlying question, which was apparently raised by
15 Mohamed Al Fayed from the moment he heard of the death
16 of his son, has been whether the crash that caused the
17 deaths was deliberately staged.
18 For reasons I have explained, it is not open to you
19 to conclude to the necessary criminal standard of proof
20 that the crash was staged and return a verdict of
21 unlawful killing on that basis. But it is nonetheless
22 important that I rehearse the nature of the conspiracy
23 theory that has been widely publicised and explain how
24 it has evolved during the course of these inquests.
25 We have spent a great deal of time exploring whether
1 the conspiracy allegations have anything to them.
2 There has, it would appear, never been any doubt in
3 the mind of Mohamed Al Fayed that Prince Philip
4 organised the murder of Dodi and Diana through
5 the offices of MI6. The motive ascribed to
6 Prince Philip was that he could not contemplate the
7 possibility of Diana marrying a Muslim and especially
8 the son of Mohamed Al Fayed, who was quite independently
9 a hate figure of what he calls 'the Establishment'.
10 The pair were planning to marry, indeed were engaged and
11 Diana was pregnant. Dodi had bought an engagement ring
12 chosen by the two of them earlier in the summer in
13 the South of France. The murders were executed by MI6
14 using an operational model drawn from a plan from
15 the early 1990s to assassinate Slobodan Milosevic.
16 The theory suggested that Diana was the subject of
17 constant surveillance. As a result her conversations
18 with others, talking of her plans and pregnancy, were
19 listened to and the intelligence agencies and
20 Prince Philip would have been fully aware of them.
21 The plan was set up for Paris at the end of August
22 and involved a combination of a vehicle or vehicles to
23 block the path of the Mercedes in which Dodi and Diana
24 were travelling, combined with a bright flash of light
25 to disorientate the driver, Henri Paul. He was an MI6
1 agent who had been with his handlers in the three hours
2 between going off duty at 7 pm on the evening of
3 30th August and returning to the Ritz at 10 pm. It was
4 Henri Paul who decided on using the third car from
5 the rear of the Ritz and it was he who decided to drive.
6 That was, of course, a vital link in the chain
7 because otherwise those waiting to cause the crash would
8 not have known whether the car would travel along
9 the embankment expressway or take the route up
10 the Champs-Elysees. There is a short period of about
11 eight minutes when Henri Paul is out of view of the CCTV
12 cameras at the front of the Ritz, so it must have been
13 in that period that he made the necessary arrangements.
14 Such a plot would have required the participation of
15 a significant number of people. It was said that
16 James Andanson, a well-known photographer, was an MI6
17 agent, also involved in the plot. He owned a white
18 Fiat Uno, which it was suggested he had driven to Paris
19 and deliberately into collision with the Mercedes as it
20 went into the Alma Tunnel.
21 It was suggested that Lord Fellowes, then the
22 Queen's Private Secretary and Diana's brother-in-law,
23 was sent to the British Embassy to coordinate the plan.
24 In particular, it was suggested by Mohamed Al Fayed that
25 Fellowes was in a communications room at the Embassy
1 sending messages to GCHQ.
2 So the suggestion was that Prince Philip was
3 directing the murder of the mother of his grandchildren
4 with the active involvement of Fellowes, who was engaged
5 in the murder of his sister-in-law.
6 But, members of the jury, it does not stop there.
7 It has been suggested that many others were involved in
8 the plan, either before its execution or afterwards, in
9 a willing conspiracy to cover it up.
10 Mohamed Al Fayed suggested that the Prince of Wales
11 and the Prime Minister were involved, as was the Foreign
12 Secretary. The French authorities assisted by disabling
13 CCTV and speed camera coverage in central Paris. So did
14 the French emergency services, who dawdled on the way to
15 hospital with Diana to ensure her death.
16 Both the French and American intelligence services
17 were said to be involved, either before the crash or at
18 least in covering up the true causes. So too were the
19 French police, whose investigations were deliberately
20 slipshod and, of course, the French judiciary were also
21 said to be complicit.
22 Indeed anyone who had investigated the crash and
23 failed to conclude that it was staged was necessarily,
24 it would seem, part of the conspiracy. So Lord Stevens
25 and his team of officers fall into the plot also. But,
1 it was said, there were others more closely involved
2 after the crash who were directly concerned to cover
3 the tracks of the real killers.
4 Leading that pack were the French pathologists and
5 forensic scientists who, it was said, either falsified
6 the results of the tests carried out on Henri Paul or
7 switched bodies in some way. There was the Royal
8 Coroner, Michael Burgess, and an unidentified police
9 officer at Scotland Yard who let the cat out of the bag
10 by mentioning that the deaths were suspicious, only
11 later to deny it, and there was the difficulty of
12 the pregnancy that needed to be covered up. To that
13 end, it was said, the British Ambassador gave
14 instructions, conveyed to him variously by MI6 or
15 the Home Secretary, through Mme Coujard, a senior
16 prosecutor in France, that the body of Diana should be
17 embalmed to conceal her pregnancy. Those instructions
18 were acted upon.
19 The cover-up extended, it was said, to ensure that
20 the bodyguards, Trevor Rees and Kes Wingfield, were
21 turned against Mohamed Al Fayed by MI6. Rees in
22 particular was said to have a full memory of the events
23 and to know the truth. His book, which is not at all
24 helpful to the conspiracy theorists, was therefore
25 written by MI6, who also arranged a job for him in
1 East Timor. Wingfield was also said to have been paid
2 off, as was Ben Murrell, another former Al Fayed
4 You have seen and heard much evidence about what
5 we have called the "Mishcon note", which was a record of
6 fears expressed by Diana to her solicitor in
7 November 1995 and also about a note left for
8 Paul Burrell, also dealing with her fears. It was
9 suggested that Lord Condon, the Metropolitan Police
10 Commissioner, and Sir David Veness, one his senior
11 officers, conspired to keep the note away from
12 the prying eyes of the French investigators; perhaps
13 Lord Mishcon also.
14 Even Diana's sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale, was
15 swept into the allegations of a cover-up, it being
16 suggested that she was responsible for the disappearance
17 of the originals of letters from the Duke of Edinburgh
18 to Diana.
19 Over many months you have heard evidence that
20 demonstrated the straightforward unreality of much of
21 this thesis, although, when he gave his evidence,
22 Mohamed Al Fayed did not resile for a moment from any of
23 the allegations he has made. His beliefs may be
24 genuine -- that is something you will doubtless
25 consider -- but there is no doubt that many of them have
1 no support in evidence at all. In all of this,
2 we should not forget that in addition to the official
3 investigations carried out in France and by the
4 Metropolitan Police and the evidence heard by you in
5 these inquests, Mohamed Al Fayed has conducted his own
6 investigation with no concern for cost. You are assured
7 that anything that supported the conspiracy theory has
8 been made available to the inquests.
9 A belief expressed in legal proceedings which is
10 unsupported by evidence is worthless. It is not
11 evidence in itself. It is no more than unsupported
13 Mohamed Al Fayed's beliefs are to be contrasted with
14 the way in which his legal team have been putting
15 the matter to witnesses. Advocates are bound by
16 professional rules of conduct which do not allow them to
17 make allegations of serious misconduct for which there
18 is no evidence. Those rules are a reflection of common
19 decency and ensure that witnesses are treated fairly.
20 My own counsel asked a number of witnesses to deal with
21 the allegations if they wished, but at no time suggested
22 there was any truth in them.
23 You will have noticed that those representing
24 Mohamed Al Fayed did not suggest to a number of the key
25 players in the alleged conspiracy that they had played
1 the part ascribed to them over the years and apparently
2 still adhered to by their client. So there was no
3 suggestion to Mme Coujard or Lord Jay that they had
4 a hand in the decisions to embalm, still less that there
5 was anything improper in the decisions to embalm or its
6 being carried out. You may think, having heard so many
7 witnesses on the topic, that there is really no doubt at
8 all that the embalming was entirely innocent.
9 Similarly, Fellowes was not troubled with an
10 allegation that he was involved in the murder of his
11 sister-in-law in the way suggested by Mohamed Al Fayed
12 or any other way. No suggestion of cover-up was made to
13 the French police officers. The suggestion that MI6 had
14 got at Rees, Wingfield or Murrell was disavowed by
15 Mr Mansfield.
16 Allegations of cover-up were limited to Condon,
17 Veness and Stevens -- and in his case implicitly his
18 whole team. It was not even suggested to Sir Richard
19 Dearlove (the former head of MI6) that MI6 covered up
20 a murder plot, still less played any part in it. By
21 the time Dearlove gave his evidence, the suggestion that
22 MI6 had any role in what happened was expressly
23 disavowed. The highest at which it was put was that
24 members of MI6, acting independently of the
25 organisation, might.
1 Where did those acting for Mohamed Al Fayed end up
2 on the question of Prince Philip's alleged involvement?
3 It will not have escaped you, members of the jury, that
4 we did not hear evidence from Prince Philip. I made the
5 decision not to call him in the light of all the
6 evidence that we have heard which provided no basis
7 whatsoever for the suggestion that he was involved in
8 killing his daughter-in-law and Dodi.
9 My decision was challenged unsuccessfully by
10 Mohamed Al Fayed in the High Court. The way in which it
11 was being suggested, on the evidence, that he might have
12 played a part was on the basis that he was hostile to
13 Diana and so may have contributed to a climate of
14 hostility which impelled some unknown members of the
15 Establishment to take matters into their own hands and
16 organise the crash. That, you may think, is a long way
17 removed from an allegation that Prince Philip ordered
18 the murder of Diana by MI6 with whom he secretly runs
19 the country.
20 The mechanism of the staged crash has also shifted.
21 No longer could it be suggested that Mr Andanson was
22 behind the wheel of his Fiat Uno. The evidence does not
23 begin to provide any support for that. You will
24 remember that some questions were asked about his
25 motorcycle, perhaps with a view to canvassing the
1 possibility that he was on a motorbike in the tunnel and
2 somehow caused the crash from that. Indeed, I do not
3 understand anyone to be suggesting that the Fiat was
4 deliberately driven into the Mercedes at all. There is
5 no basis on which that conclusion could be reached.
6 Instead, the accident is said to have been staged by
7 a blocking vehicle and a following motorcycle with
8 the use of a bright light. We shall look in detail at
9 the eye witness evidence of vehicles in the vicinity of
10 the Mercedes when it crashed. But if the Fiat Uno was
11 not involved in a conspiracy, it was indisputably
12 involved in a glancing impact with the Mercedes.
13 It is also no longer suggested that the intent of
14 those who are said to have staged the crash was
15 necessarily to kill the occupants of the car or to cause
16 them serious injury. That is the intention needed for
17 murder. That you may think is not at all surprising.
18 Killing someone or even seriously injuring them in a car
19 crash is a very hit and miss affair. The tragic deaths
20 in this crash resulted from a combination of chances
21 coming together.
22 The most potent feature of the way in which the
23 Mercedes was driven was its speed. That speed, combined
24 with the fact that it impacted with the corner of the
25 13th pillar, was what sent such enormous and fatal
1 forces through the car. Had it been travelling more
2 slowly, the outcome might have been different. Had it
3 hit the side of the pillar rather than the corner, it
4 would probably have bounced off, and in a loss of
5 control, nobody can predict which way it would go.
6 Even at a high speed, had it hit the right-hand wall
7 first, the outcome, you may think, would very likely
8 have been different. Even as the crash in fact
9 happened, it was survivable. And then there was the
10 fact that neither Dodi nor Diana was wearing
11 a seat-belt.
12 So it has been suggested to a number of witnesses
13 that perhaps the intention was to do no more than
14 frighten the occupants of the car. But one only has to
15 think about that for a moment to see how improbable
16 it is as a scenario. It presupposes that those who
17 caused the crash expected all four occupants of the car
18 to have survived. Each would have seen what was going
19 on and been in a position to describe it.
20 So the plot on this hypothesis leaves behind four
21 witnesses who can tell all and who might be better
22 placed to give a clear account than the myriad of other
23 witnesses from whom you have heard whom the perpetrators
24 of the staged crash would anyway have had to taken into
25 account when executing their plan. There was also
1 the attention of the world's paparazzi to contend with.
2 So, it is said, the presence of a dark blocking car,
3 a motorcycle and a light provide the evidence of
4 a staged crash, but that is to ignore all the other
5 evidence, especially that which is incontrovertible
6 about the Fiat Uno. It also fails to grapple with
7 the important question of how anyone knew that
8 the Mercedes would be travelling along the expressway.
9 That, as I have said, is where Henri Paul comes in.
10 Yet it is pure speculation that during the eight or so
11 minutes that he cannot be seen on the CCTV outside
12 the front of the Ritz, that he had slipped off to make
13 contact with someone intent on staging a crash, and it
14 has to be during that period because there is no basis
15 for saying that he had any idea of the third car plan
16 until he was told by M Thierry Rocher at about half
17 past 10. For all the rest of the time, after his return
18 to the Ritz, we know exactly where Henri Paul was and
19 what he was doing, mainly because he was on CCTV footage
21 It has been suggested that there were motives for
22 killing Diana because she was a threat to the Royal
23 Family and her support for the anti-landmines campaign
24 was unacceptable in some quarters, as was
25 Mohamed Al Fayed. It is said that there was extreme
1 concern in Royal circles about the holiday with
2 Mohamed Al Fayed and, finally, the relationship between
3 Diana and Dodi had reached the point where it could no
4 longer be tolerated. Whatever you may think about
5 motives or alleged hostility to Diana, they cannot be
6 used to prove anything that something untoward happened
7 on that night in Paris.
8 Later this week, members of the jury, you will
9 return to consider your verdicts on how Diana,
10 Princess of Wales, and Dodi Al Fayed came by their
11 deaths. The inquests into the deaths of Diana and Dodi
12 are separate but have been heard together because most
13 of the circumstances are common; the one possibly
14 significant difference being that Diana lived for
15 some hours after the collision. Nevertheless, you must
16 consider each death separately and complete a separate
17 inquisition for each of the deceased because that is
18 the law. I would emphasise one inquisition and not all
19 eleven that you have been given.
20 Unlike in a criminal trial, counsel is not entitled
21 to address you on the facts. The reason for this is
22 that this is an inquiry and not a contest between two
23 different sides. In summing up, I shall endeavour to
24 draw your attention to the evidence on the important
25 issues and to point out where the evidence differs. But
1 as I have said, I shall necessarily be selective.
2 I would not help you unless I was.
3 When I opened this case to you last October,
4 I mentioned a number of questions which needed to be
5 explored because the answers, depending upon what they
6 are, could provide the building blocks for the
7 conspiracy to murder theory. There were eight of them
8 and they are as follows.
9 Whether and in what circumstances Diana feared for
10 her life;
11 Whether Diana was pregnant;
12 Whether Diana and Dodi were about to announce their
14 The circumstances in relation to the purchase of
15 a ring by Dodi;
16 The circumstances in which Diana's body was
18 Where Henri Paul was between 7 and 10 pm on the
19 night of the collision and the explanation for the
20 substantial amounts of money in his possession and in
21 his bank account;
22 Whose decision it was that Henri Paul should drive
23 the couple and that they should leave the Ritz Hotel by
24 the rear entrance;
25 Whether the British security services or any other
1 country's security services had any involvement in
2 the collision.
3 I shall cover each of these during my summing-up
4 because they figured so widely in the public debate and
5 you have heard evidence about them, but as I explained
6 in opening, as the case proceeded, it was likely that
7 some issues would fall away and others arise, as has
8 proved to be the case.
9 You may think examination of the evidence makes it
10 plain that there remains little, if any, substance in
11 some of the allegations, such as pregnancy and
12 embalming, for example. In others, there still remained
13 issues on the evidence.
14 I am going to begin with Tomlinson and the MI6.
15 It was always central to those who believed that Diana
16 and Dodi were murdered that it was at the hands of the
17 British security services and, in particular, the Secret
18 Intelligence Service, MI6. Central to that thesis has
19 been the evidence of Richard Tomlinson.
20 His allegations, which first surfaced in 1998, were
21 said to provide confirmation that MI6 had people on the
22 ground in Paris whose movements were suspicious.
23 Furthermore, he provided evidence that MI6 was familiar
24 with using flashing lights for nefarious purposes and
25 had contemplated using one as part of an assassination
1 plan in the early 1990s. He added that he believed that
2 Henri Paul was an MI6 agent.
3 These allegations lead to an unprecedented
4 investigation by Lord Stevens and his team at MI6
5 headquarters and a unique public examination of a series
6 of SIS witnesses in these inquests. For reasons that
7 I am sure you will fully understand, the identities of
8 serving and former members of MI6 had to be protected,
9 save for Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6.
10 You heard from a witness who dealt with
11 record-keeping and searches of MI6 databases for
12 confirmation of the allegations made by Tomlinson. You
13 heard from those concerned with the Balkan section,
14 where Tomlinson worked in the early 1990s. You heard
15 from the head of the Paris station and a number of his
16 colleagues who were in Paris at the time of the crash.
17 And, of course, you heard from Dearlove, who, at the
18 time of the crash, was the head of operations and so in
19 a position to have an overview of MI6 activities.
20 It is important to remember that Tomlinson's
21 evidence comes quite independently of Mohamed Al Fayed,
22 but you will need to consider very carefully whether the
23 evidence of Tomlinson advances the case that the
24 collision may have been staged at all.
25 Let me remind you of how Tomlinson figures in
1 the story. Tomlinson graduated at Cambridge University
2 and joined MI6 in 1991. He was dismissed in May 1995.
3 He is plainly very bitter about the circumstances of his
4 dismissal. Fortunately, we don't have to go into
5 the rights and wrongs of it. The way he subsequently
6 behaved may give some insight into the character of
7 the man and why MI6 could not continue to employ him.
8 He wrote a book, in large part he says, about why he
9 was dismissed. It was first published in 2001 and most
10 of the money he made out of it he says was later
11 confiscated by the Government. When he originally asked
12 for permission to write the book, it was refused. This
13 irked him because Stella Rimington, a former head of
14 MI5, was allowed to write a book. You may think he has
15 half a point, but putting the lives of former fellow
16 officers and others with whom he dealt during his
17 service at risk by identifying them is, you may think,
19 Copies of the draft manuscript were seized in 1996.
20 In 1997 he was arrested on suspicion of breaching
21 the Official Secrets Act. He spent time on remand in
22 custody and eventually pleaded guilty to an offence for
23 which he was sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment.
24 He was released after six on licence.
25 The question is how far, if anywhere, does
1 Tomlinson's evidence take you towards showing that
2 a plot to kill Diana and Dodi was or could have been set
3 up by a member or members of MI6.
4 Tomlinson describes his involvement thus: in
5 the summer of 1998 he saw a programme about the crash.
6 This was during the period when he was on licence
7 following his release from prison and, as he accepts, at
8 that stage he was particularly bitter towards MI6.
9 The programme mentioned a flash before the crash and
10 reminded him, he says, of a proposal which he saw whilst
11 working in the Balkan section at MI6 to make
12 a contingency plan to assassinate, as Tomlinson thought
13 it was, Milosevic. That proposal, to which I shall
14 return in a few minutes, was the brainchild of
15 a colleague from whom we heard as "A".
16 He wrote to Mohamed Al Fayed, who he knew was
17 agitating for some form of inquiry. He wondered if
18 something he had seen in a memorandum years before,
19 whilst he was still employed by MI6, might be relevant.
20 Apparently the letter went astray, but having met
21 a journalist in, I think, New Zealand, he eventually
22 went to see Mohamed Al Fayed who paid his fare from
23 New Zealand to France.
24 Tomlinson gave evidence to the French magistrate on
25 28th October 1998, and this was the first time he
1 publicly drew a link between what he had been shown by A
2 and the crash and flashing lights. He told the
3 magistrate that he had seen a plan at MI6 to assassinate
4 Milosevic, but he also said that he had never heard of
5 any plan to murder any member of the Al Fayed family,
6 Diana or anyone other than Milosevic.
7 He said it was impossible, given the structure of
8 MI6, for an assassination plot of this type to have been
9 implemented by them. It could, however, have been
10 instigated by individual members of MI6, albeit not by
11 the service itself. So no support for Mohamed
12 Al Fayed's allegation that Prince Philip got MI6 to set
13 up the crash is to be found in Tomlinson's evidence, but
14 he suggested it would have been possible for one or more
15 members of MI6 to have done it on their own.
16 What motive would any individual in the service have
17 for murdering Dodi and Diana and, practically, how could
18 it have been arranged at short notice in Paris on
19 30th August 1997?
20 Members of the jury, you must decide whether there
21 may be anything in Richard Tomlinson's comparison
22 between A's contingent assassination proposal and
23 the collision or whether he was simply out to cause
24 maximum damage and embarrassment to his former employer.
25 Let me draw your attention to a possible clue. In
1 the earlier version of the book, that is to say the one
2 delivered up before the crash in 1996, there was no
3 mention of a staged car accident. There it was
4 a drive-past ambush. Why the change? When he was
5 interviewed in May 2005 by the Metropolitan Police,
6 Tomlinson said that:
7 "Due to the passage of time, and my deeply felt
8 anger to MI6, it may be that I wrongly linked it
9 [the capacity to assassinate] to the Milosevic minute.
10 When I came out of prison I was extremely embittered
11 towards MI6 and certainly wanted to cause them
12 embarrassment and difficulty and this may have
13 contributed to my mixing of my knowledge of techniques
14 with my eventual account."
15 When giving evidence, Tomlinson said that he felt
16 under considerable pressure, when being interviewed by
17 the Metropolitan Police, to tell them what they wanted
18 to hear. However he attended voluntarily on each
19 occasion on which he was interviewed and signed up to
20 the record of the interviews afterwards.
21 It was suggested that Tomlinson knew perfectly well
22 that A's proposal did not relate to Milosevic, but
23 Milosevic was a much better-known name than the person
24 to whom the proposal did relate and it was therefore
25 likely to make a better story in the book. Further,
1 the story changed from the first draft of the book from
2 a drive-past ambush to a staged accident because, it is
3 said, Tomlinson saw the opportunity to embarrass MI6 by
4 linking them to the collision.
5 We heard from A and a number of those in the
6 hierarchy at MI6 about his proposal. It is striking,
7 you may think, that rather than denying the fact that
8 a proposal was made, MI6 provided detailed evidence to
9 the Metropolitan Police and to you about what had
10 happened. A explained that he had proposed that
11 a contingency plan should be prepared to consider
12 assassinating a Serbian politician in the event that he
13 came to power because he would engage in genocide
14 against the Muslim population. He was concerned to save
15 hundreds of thousands of lives. All the evidence
16 suggests that the proposal was strangled at birth, to
17 repeat a colourful phrase used in evidence.
18 Quite apart from A's proposal not relating to
19 Milosevic, no bright light was involved, nor was
20 a staged collision in a tunnel. A's evidence was that
21 the options were either using dissidents opposed to
22 a radical Serb group inside Yugoslavia to take action
23 against this man or to use military options.
24 Would Tomlinson have mentioned the bright light plan
25 in the first draft of his book if he had read of it?
1 There is no reference to a light in either draft of his
2 book. He says he finds the idea of a document
3 containing A's proposal being destroyed as completely
4 unbelievable. He thinks it was destroyed when the
5 Stevens inquiry began and MI6 realised they would have
6 to disclose it. Members of the jury, if that were
7 right, then every MI6 witness who gave evidence lied to
8 you. Be that as it may, the fact that A did make such
9 a proposal has not been denied.
10 The other aspect of Tomlinson's evidence that you
11 will have to consider is whether he had anything
12 relevant to say that links Henri Paul to MI6. In 1992,
13 Tomlinson was aware of an operation involving smuggling
14 weaponry out of the Soviet Union, albeit he was not
15 directly involved. He read up the files insofar as he
16 was allowed to do so.
17 You heard about P files. These are opened in
18 respect of individuals who provide information or
19 access. Tomlinson said that after the programme, he
20 thought back to a P file that he had read. He could not
21 remember who the person was, except that he was French,
22 was a security officer at the Ritz and had an interest
23 in flying. That description meets Henri Paul.
24 Tomlinson accepted that it is quite unusual for a French
25 person to work for the British SIS.
1 The Metropolitan Police, despite extensive searches,
2 found no file on Henri Paul and nothing has emerged to
3 say that he ever worked for the SIS. Tomlinson said in
4 evidence that he had never once claimed Henri Paul was
5 working for SIS and also that he could not positively
6 disagree with the police after 17 years. This is how
7 it was recorded when Tomlinson was seen by the police in
8 May 2005:
9 "Richard Tomlinson accepts, because of what we have
10 told him, that Henri Paul did not appear in the
11 operation he referred to and therefore he may be
12 mistaken on this point."
13 But Tomlinson says the security officer of a big
14 hotel is always a person to target and he felt he would
15 have been recruited by someone and it was a plausible
16 inference to draw that he was the individual he had seen
17 referred to, but he could not be more specific.
18 There is no evidence from any of the SIS witnesses
19 that Henri Paul was ever of any interest to them. It
20 may, of course, be a different matter with regard to the
21 French security services, but we have not been able to
22 explore that in evidence with the French and, in any
23 event, so what?
24 There was a third matter to which Tomlinson's
25 evidence related. He did not regard it as of great
1 importance and I mention it for completeness. He said
2 he had heard that a member of the paparazzi was an SIS
3 informant. He accepted, however, that he had no
4 evidence that this had anything to do with the crash in
5 Paris. It came to no more than this: in the early
6 1990s, ie years before 1997, one of his colleagues on
7 a training course was going off with a photographer
8 somewhere. He says he believed the photographer worked
9 for the tabloid press and was giving ad hoc help to
10 the SIS.
11 The last particular matter raised by Tomlinson's
12 evidence was the dates of deployment of two MI6
13 operatives in Paris. This was, you may think,
14 a particularly mischievous -- even unreasonable and
15 malicious -- aspect of Tomlinson's various accounts. He
16 casually identified two people as possible murderers,
17 relying upon the dates of their postings to Paris, in
18 support of his account that they could have been posted
19 for a sinister purpose. He must have known very well
20 that diplomatic postings are arranged months before they
21 are taken up. That was such a baseless allegation that
22 it was dealt with by a single statement from the Foreign
23 Office head of personnel, which was read to you as
24 undisputed evidence.
25 Do MI6 kill people? Are they allowed to? What is
1 the evidence?
2 Members of the jury, you heard from Dearlove,
3 a former chief of SIS, who has held a variety of senior
4 posts in SIS, being on the main board from 1993 until
5 his retirement.
6 Along with MI5 and GCHQ, the general policy in
7 the security services is neither to confirm nor deny
8 allegations. Otherwise, it was said, you create
9 a expectation that you will always comment. In these
10 inquests, you have learned about two exceptions to that
11 policy. The first relates to the bugging of the
12 conversations known as the "Squidgy tapes" and
13 "Camillagate"; the second to the allegations arising
14 from Tomlinson's evidence of the SIS's involvement in
15 the collision.
16 MI6 has been on a statutory basis since 1994. It is
17 responsible to the Foreign Secretary. Its concerns are
18 national security, the economic well-being of the United
19 Kingdom and the prevention or detection of serious
21 The Intelligence and Security Committee of senior
22 parliamentarians oversees it and other security
23 agencies. The starting point is that the intelligence
24 services are subject to the constraints of the law.
25 This applies to Crown servants acting abroad.
1 Sir Richard also explained the detailed judicial
2 oversight to which MI6, and indeed other agencies, are
4 By section 7 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994,
5 the Secretary of State can give authorisation for acts
6 that would otherwise be impermissible. Obvious examples
7 would include breaking into premises or stealing
8 something. Lethal force is not absolutely excluded, but
9 as Mr Douglas Hogg, a Government minister, put it in
10 the House of Commons, it is inconceivable that, in
11 ordinary circumstances, any Secretary of State would
12 authorise the use of lethal force. No force, far less
13 lethal force, could be used unless authorised. Absent
14 authorisation, it would be unlawful. The Foreign
15 Secretary is subject to strict legal tests before he can
16 authorise something that would otherwise be unlawful.
17 That is the effect of an Act of Parliament of 1948.
18 Assassination, said Mr Hogg, is no part of the
19 policy of Her Majesty's Government, but the door is left
20 open a chink to the extent that it has not been excluded
21 in the event of some dire emergency, war or crisis
22 causing great damage to Great Britain or her citizens.
23 Dearlove was unaware of MI6 ever having assassinated
24 anyone. He joined in 1963. He has extensive and
25 detailed knowledge of the service from the time that he
1 became a member of the board in 1993. Nobody else from
2 whom you have heard is aware of MI6 having assassinated
3 anyone either. He was able to speak with complete
4 authority of the time he was on the board in very senior
5 positions in MI6.
6 In a modern democracy, very strict managerial
7 controls are required of an organisation like MI6. Any
8 significant operational proposal would be thoroughly
9 prepared and discussed before submission to the Foreign
10 Secretary for authorisation. That, it was explained,
11 covers all operations and not only those that might
12 require an authorisation to do something otherwise
14 There are controls from outside MI6. The
15 Intelligence Service Commissioner gives judicial
16 oversight. He has unfettered access to audit what has
17 been going on. You heard extracts from various of his
18 reports. There is a separate Interception Commissioner,
19 another senior judge, and you also heard from his
20 relevant reports. The Intelligence and Security
21 Committee also has a role in directing MI6 where its
22 efforts are to be applied. There are also financial
24 Mr Hogg, the Government minister, said in a House of
25 Commons debate that an undisclosed, private agenda,
1 either by an individual officer or the head of the
2 agency, would not be sustainable and was impossible.
3 Dearlove said that any rogue elements in MI6 would not
4 be able to mount such an operation without authority.
5 Other witnesses described an operation of the nature
6 proposed by A as against the ethos of the service, and
7 that, you may think, is why it was immediately squashed.
8 What of Prince Philip? Dearlove told you that he
9 had no connection with SIS, except occasional visits as
10 the Queen's consort. He could say with complete
11 confidence that no operation of any kind was mounted
12 against Dodi or Diana in the summer of 1997.
13 Freelancing was inconceivable. Tomlinson's was
14 a mischievous and fanciful allegation.
15 Those who say that MI6 were involved in staging an
16 accident would probably say, "Well, MI6 would deny it,
17 wouldn't they?"In the past you might have heard no more
18 than a blanket denial to such an allegation, but in this
19 case you have had unprecedented access to information
20 about how they work, what they do and the controls
21 imposed upon them. You may think they have provided
22 compelling evidence that they could not have been
23 involved in any conspiracy. Although, as you will
24 remember, Mr Mansfield disavowed with Dearlove any
25 suggestions that Diana and Dodi were murdered on
1 the orders of senior people in MI6, Mohamed Al Fayed's
2 beliefs are not that some rogue element did it without
3 the boss's authority. His contention is that MI6 were
4 in it up to the hilt and in cahoots with Prince Philip,
5 the British Ambassador to Paris, the French and many
6 others, including those in the medical profession.
7 Members of the jury, it perhaps says something for
8 the basic freedoms in this country that he is able to
9 make such allegations. It is only after the allegation
10 against the Duke of Edinburgh was shown to be fanciful
11 that the claim shifted to a rogue element within SIS
12 being responsible. Yet you heard from the head of the
13 Paris station that he knew where all his staff were on
14 30th August. You heard from or had read to you
15 statements from all those who were in Paris that day.
16 You heard that nobody had any idea that Diana and Dodi
17 were in Paris.
18 It is argued that if assassination was out of the
19 question, A would not have put forward his contingency
20 proposal. Dearlove says that the service does not
21 control the thoughts of its officers, but that the
22 proposal was categorically rejected. In fairness to A,
23 the proposal was only a contingency proposal. It was
24 made in the context of the loss of thousands of innocent
25 lives and, as is apparent from Mr Hogg's answer in
1 the House of Commons, whilst assassination is no part of
2 Her Majesty's Government policy, it was not absolutely
3 ruled out, however extraordinary the circumstances.
4 There is some dispute about what SIS officers were
5 told in training. Tomlinson accepts that nowadays
6 assassination could not be organised by an SIS officer
7 or officers independently, but says that in earlier days
8 the security services were not so tightly controlled.
9 Dearlove disagreed. Tomlinson suggested that during his
10 training the question of assassination was raised in
11 the bar after one of the formal sessions, but that
12 the senior officer, who was asked if it was permissible,
13 declined to answer the question. It was suggested that
14 the implication was therefore that this was something
15 that could and might happen.
16 Tomlinson did not mention this in his book, but he
17 did mention, as Mr Hilliard brought out, that, "One
18 evening in the pool bar, when nobody else was listening,
19 I asked about whether SIS ever assassinated a peace-time
20 target. The answer was absolutely not. No, never. His
21 face puckered with severity and sincerity".
22 In truth you may think the whole suggestion of MI6's
23 involvement in a staged accident is dependent on A's
24 contingency proposal. This, it is said, is evidence of
25 the real workings of MI6. Mohamed Al Fayed and others
1 would say it is not just the fact that the proposal was
2 made that is relevant, but what happened to the document
3 that contained it.
4 We spent a lot of time exploring the point at which
5 and the circumstances in which a document of this kind
6 would become shreddable or have to be destroyed.
7 The fact that such a document can be and is eliminated
8 from the records without trace indicates, so it is
9 argued, that it would have been easy for MI6 to expunge
10 all record of anything that might implicate those in
11 the murder of Dodi and Diana.
12 I am not going to go into all the evidence about
13 pink memoranda and white minutes and white minutes with
14 "treat as pink" written on them. You heard the evidence
15 and it is a matter for you, but you may think there is
16 nothing sinister in the fact that once A's proposal was,
17 as Sir Richard put it, stifled at birth, there was
18 nothing to be found in MI6's records.
19 Dearlove thought an investigation was carried out
20 into A's proposal by one of his senior officers, but no
21 evidence has been found that one was. It may be that
22 Sir Richard was confusing this with a damage assessment
23 exercise that was carried out following Tomlinson's
24 revelations. You heard evidence of that and saw
25 the relevant documents. Additionally, you saw extracts
1 from A's personnel file which referred to
2 the contingency plan and fixed it in the year when A
3 dated it; not in the year given by Tomlinson.
4 It is said that A's proposals would never have seen
5 the light of day but for Tomlinson. You may think that
6 is undoubtedly correct, but where does it take you? You
7 may think Tomlinson has used bits of his knowledge which
8 he has elaborated with the intention of causing mischief
9 and the greatest possible difficulty for his former
11 Finally, before leaving this topic, I would like to
12 say a word about a letter written by Mr Johnston of
13 the Foreign Office to the French inquiry on
14 16th December 1998 [INQ0008320]. I hope it is possible to put this
15 up on the screen. You may think that this letter was
16 accurate; there was no plot to murder Milosevic and it
17 would not have been appropriate to have gone into any
18 greater detail if, as MI6 saw it (you may think
19 correctly), Tomlinson was causing mischief and
20 the collision in the tunnel and A's proposal were
21 completely unrelated incidents.
22 One of the consequences of an organisation operating
23 largely in secret, as does MI6 and the other agencies,
24 MI5 and GCHQ, is that it is inevitable that ill-informed
25 speculation about their activities abounds. Yet, having
1 seen the way in which MI6 works through the evidence of
2 Witness X, Dearlove and others, you will have gathered
3 how far removed the reality is from the myth.
4 The records and databases, said Witness X, showed that
5 MI6 had no interest whatsoever in Diana or Dodi,
6 Henri Paul and many others whose names have casually
7 been linked with them in public. Dearlove confirmed
8 that there was no operation, surveillance or interest
9 whatsoever in Diana and Dodi during their brief
10 relationship. It was not the business of MI6, which had
11 clearly defined statutory responsibilities. They had
12 better things to do.
13 If MI6 was not involved in setting up a staged
14 accident, you may think there is nothing or no evidence
15 that points to anyone else having deliberately set up
16 the collision. If there is an absence of any evidence
17 showing who set up the collision, you may think that may
18 be a strong pointer that the collision was not staged at
19 all and was in reality an accident. The murderer,
20 so-called, would be missing from the story.
21 There have been various suggestions made over
22 the years that other countries' intelligence agencies
23 were involved in some way in the murder of Diana and
24 Dodi. There really is no evidence of that.
25 Nonetheless, for completeness, I remind you that both
1 the French and American intelligence agencies were
2 contacted and you heard their denials.
3 Pregnancy: the only evidence that Diana was pregnant
4 comes from the mouth of Mohamed Al Fayed. On the other
5 hand there is a great deal of evidence that she was not
6 pregnant, although you may think it cannot be proved
7 with absolute scientific certainty that she was not as
8 it is theoretically possible that she could have been in
9 the very early stages of pregnancy without there being
10 any clinical signs. The issue of pregnancy is said to
11 be important as providing a possible motive or part of a
12 motive why somebody should wish to murder her.
13 Mohamed Al Fayed's evidence is that on the evening
14 of the crash, Diana told him she was pregnant and that
15 he was the only person that she had told, other than
16 Dodi. It was during the same conversation that he was
17 told that he and Diana were engaged and that they would
18 announce it on the Monday morning after she had told her
19 sons when she had returned from Paris.
20 The conversation took place about one hour before
21 the fateful journey. He says it was a private and
22 personal matter and he does not remember discussing it
23 with anyone. It was suggested the first time anything
24 emerged in public from him about pregnancy was in
25 the Daily Express on 14th May 2001.
1 You will have to decide whether Mohamed Al Fayed is
2 telling the truth about the pregnancy conversation. If
3 he is, it is strange that he sat on this important
4 information for three and three-quarter years. It is
5 also difficult to believe how, if the information that
6 Diana was pregnant was only available in a telephone
7 call for the first time an hour or so before the
8 collision, it could have any relevance to the collision.
9 Mohamed Al Fayed went into a little more detail
10 about the phone call when cross-examined by Mr Horwell.
11 Dodi and Diana called him, Dodi spoke first and said he
12 had already proposed and that they were declaring their
13 engagement on the Monday. He had got the ring. Diana
14 had accepted. Then he spoke to Diana. She was happy.
15 She had got good news. She said she was pregnant and
16 Dodi would declare his engagement to her on Monday.
17 Members of the jury, you may think it is difficult
18 to be mistaken about the main thrust of this
19 conversation; ie engagement and pregnancy. Either it
20 took place or it did not. The conversation involved
21 three people, but there is only one who can tell you
22 about it now. Sadly, the only people who could confirm
23 or deny it are no longer alive to do so. So the issue
24 fairly and squarely raises Mohamed Al Fayed's
25 credibility. Is he a man on whose word you can rely?
1 It was pointed out to Mohamed Al Fayed that various
2 witnesses spoke of Diana's menstrual cycle and
3 contraception and that their evidence all pointed
4 against pregnancy, but his response was that these
5 witnesses are all part of the cover-up and that they
6 have been told what to say. I told you that
7 Mohamed Al Fayed's evidence of the telephone
8 conversation, if you accept it, is the only evidence as
9 such that Diana was pregnant, but there is one other
10 piece of evidence to which I should refer.
11 You will remember Mr Posner, the American
12 journalist, who was commissioned to write a piece for
13 Talk Magazine and who had two sources whose names were
14 known only to him and the person he described as
15 the aggressive lawyer, Deveron Chatillon.
16 One of the sources told him the call was made from
17 the Home Secretary's office to the room where
18 the autopsy on Diana was being carried out and that
19 the caller ordered the omission of any reference to
20 pregnancy in the final report. Dr Chapman made no
21 reference to any such call, nor did anyone else who was
22 there speak of him being interrupted in any way and
23 it was not suggested to Dr Chapman that he was anything
24 other than an honest and skilled witness who had done
25 his job properly.
1 Mr Posner said this information came to him
2 unsolicited and without any detail, but he said he had
3 to assume that what Dr Chapman had said on oath was
4 correct. One of the problems in this case is the number
5 of rumours that have emerged from no identifiable base
6 and gained, in some circles, an apparent credibility by
7 their mere repetition.
8 Whilst on this topic, let me remind you of
9 Professor Coriat. A document was published in a Spanish
10 paper and reproduced in a book. The document, which
11 purported to be that of Professor Coriat, said that
12 Diana was pregnant when she died.
13 The uncontested evidence of Professor Coriat that
14 was read to you is that this document was a crude
15 forgery. The statement you heard read to you just
16 before my summing-up started about Dr Dion is another
17 example of false information circulating in the press
18 about pregnancy.
19 The scientific evidence pointing against pregnancy
20 comes from the pathologist, Dr Chapman, and from
21 Dr Shepherd. Dr Chapman said there were no signs of
22 pregnancy and no suggestion that Diana might have been
23 pregnant. However, he said he always looked, during
24 a post mortem, at the uterus in women of child-bearing
25 age. He would expect to see changes in the uterus at
1 three weeks from fertilisation of the egg. There would
2 be nothing to see in the first seven days; from seven to
3 14 days you might see something, but it was unlikely;
4 and after 14 days, there was an increasing likelihood.
5 Dr Chapman also said that the fact of her body
6 having been embalmed makes no difference to whether you
7 can identify pregnancy from looking at the uterus. None
8 of Mohamed Al Fayed's representatives or anyone else had
9 suggested that he look for pregnancy. Dr Shepherd said
10 that he agreed in very broad terms with Dr Chapman's
11 evidence about pregnancy.
12 In June 1998 there was a meeting at New Scotland
13 Yard at which Dr Chapman and the French pathologists
14 were present and the post-mortem reports were handed
15 over. There was no discussion then about possible
16 pregnancy, no doubt because the subject had never been
17 raised and, indeed, it did not surface until May 2001.
18 Professor Riou, the professor of anaesthetics and
19 resuscitation at La Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital, said
20 that pregnancy tests were never performed on patients
21 suffering from multiple trauma. He thought a sonogram
22 (or echogram) must have been performed to determine
23 whether there was blood in the abdomen and that such
24 a test would be capable of showing a pregnancy of five
25 to six weeks if you were looking for it or happened to
1 notice it. However, an experienced radiographer might
2 have to spend half an hour or so looking at the details.
3 He did not hear anyone at the hospital mention pregnancy
4 and did not know which radiographer was on duty.
5 Professor Coriat was the head of the department.
6 Professor Riou had no specific recollection of
7 a sonogram being performed or indeed even if
8 a radiographer was present.
9 You may think, as Professor Riou said, that if one
10 had been performed, it would have been recorded in
11 the medical records, which it was not.
12 The Professor was asked the next day about pregnancy by
13 a journalist, which would surely have triggered his
14 memory of anything relevant.
15 Professor Pavie said no one mentioned pregnancy to
16 him on the night or in the days or months that followed.
17 Evidence that Diana was taking a contraceptive pill
18 comes from a number of sources: Dr Lily Hua Yu, who
19 treated Diana from September 1996, said that Diana was
20 on the pill before her death and that she had a period
21 six days before 21st August 1997, which was the last
22 occasion on which she had seen her.
23 That evidence, which was read to you because it was
24 not disputed by anyone, was confirmed by Rosa Monckton,
25 who said that Diana had a period when on the boat with
1 her between 15th and 20th August.
2 Hasnat Khan, whose evidence was read to you, said
3 that Diana was assiduous in taking the pill.
4 There was also evidence from Deborah Gribble,
5 the stewardess on the Jonikal. On the cruise between
6 31st August and 6th August, she saw a strip of
7 contraceptive pills with some missing and she again saw
8 pill packets on the second trip. Myriah Daniels,
9 the masseuse and holistic healer, was on the second
10 Jonikal trip. She described Diana's irritation at the
11 newspapers. You will remember the famous picture in
12 the leopard swimsuit taken on 12th or 13th July 1997 [Photo produced - Sunday People 15-02-1998].
13 Now you can see it.
14 Diana complained to Myriah "Now they have me
15 pregnant". Miss Daniels' expression in evidence was
16 "She was not pregnant, period". None of this evidence
17 was challenged in cross-examination. Lucia
18 Flecha de Lima said that if Diana had been pregnant, she
19 would have told her.
20 Before leaving the topic of pregnancy, there is one
21 other witness to whom I should refer and that is
22 Michael Cole. Cole said in evidence that
23 Mohamed Al Fayed had told him of his conversation with
24 Diana and that Diana had said to him that she was
25 pregnant. This, of course, conflicts with
1 Mohamed Al Fayed's evidence. He says he did not tell
2 anybody. But Cole is adamant that he knew
3 Mohamed Al Fayed had had a conversation with Diana and
4 that he knew the content of it.
5 There is a real difficulty with Cole's evidence on
6 this, which you will have to resolve. For why, if he
7 knew Diana had told Mohamed Al Fayed she was pregnant by
8 Dodi, did he write to the editor of the Daily Telegraph,
9 on 22nd September 1997, complaining of what he described
10 as scurrilous and baseless allegations that Diana was
11 pregnant and that cocaine had been found in the wreck of
12 the Mercedes? And why, furthermore, did he later
13 complain to the chairman of the Press Complaints
14 Commission that the Daily Telegraph had not published
15 his letter of complaint?
16 Such rumours were circulating. The cocaine rumour
17 was manifestly without foundation and so was the
18 pregnancy rumour, based, as it was, on the forged
19 document. Absent anything Diana had said to Mohamed
20 Al Fayed in the hours before the crash, there was no
21 evidence that Diana was pregnant, nothing except
22 the forged Coriat document. It would have been
23 perfectly reasonable for Cole to have written the
24 letters he did if Mohamed Al Fayed had not said anything
25 to him about Diana being pregnant. You may think --
1 it is a matter for you -- that that is indeed why Cole
2 wrote the letters that he did, but that is not what Cole
3 said in evidence.
4 He said it was difficult to complain about cocaine
5 without complaining also about pregnancy, and also he
6 did not regard what Mohamed Al Fayed had told him as
7 evidence. It was, he said, an entirely private matter.
8 The inescapable fact is that if Cole's account is
9 correct, he wrote a lie or, at the very least,
10 a half-truth to the Daily Telegraph and the chairman of
11 the Press Complaints Commission, Lord Wakeham. If, on
12 the other hand, the truth is that Mohamed Al Fayed never
13 told Cole anything about pregnancy, then what Cole has
14 told you in the witness box is untrue.
15 I think we will break off now, members of the jury,
16 until a quarter to two.
17 (12.47 pm)
18 (The short adjournment)