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Lord Justice Scott Baker

Assistant Deputy Coroner of Inner West London

Pre-inquest hearing

Court 73, Royal Courts of Justice

27 July 2007

Closing Remarks

The list of 20 issues circulated to the interested persons are those that I have identified as likely to need to be addressed at the inquests. They are expressed in fairly broad terms and some may give rise to sub-issues. It is appreciated that Mr Mohamend Al Fayed’s overarching allegation is that Diana Princess of Wales was murdered as a result of a criminal conspiracy. This allegation is, however, dependant on the answers to some or all of the issues identified.

I shall endeavour as far as possible to hear the evidence on each issue sequentially although not necessarily in the order on the list but witness availability etc will inevitably mean some variation from this course. The interested persons will be provided with a proposed  batting order when one is available.

I should make it clear that the reason I am prepared to explore such a wide range of issues is because one of the purposes of the inquests is to confirm or allay public suspicion, and that questions relating to these issues have been circulating in the public domain albeit sometimes as matters of surmise rather than supported by any evidence.

This should not, however, be interpreted as meaning that I shall call vast amounts of evidence on every issue. I wish to remind everybody of the agreement that the inquests should be completed within 4 to 6 months and point out the need to manage the time constructively to that it is not wasted on peripheral matters that prove to be of little relevance.