Al Fayed abandons quest to prove Diana was murdered

Harrods boss accepts ruling princess and his son unlawfully killed due to driver's reckless speed and drinking, chasing paparazzi.

al fayed 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
al fayed 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
Mohamed Al Fayed said late Tuesday he was abandoning his more than decade-long legal quest to prove his belief that Princess Diana and his son were killed by British secret agents. Al Fayed said would reluctantly accept a coroner's jury ruling that Diana and Dodi Fayed were unlawfully killed due to reckless speed and drinking by their driver, and by the reckless pursuit of vehicles chasing them. "Enough is enough," Fayed said in an interview with ITV News broadcast Tuesday night. "For the sake of the two princes, who I know loved their mother." Diana's sons, Princes William and Harry, endorsed the verdict delivered by a jury on Monday. Despite saying he accepted the verdict, the Harrods department store owner said he still believed the couple were murdered and that the evidence presented at the inquest supported his theory. "I'm a father who has lost his son and I've done everything for 10 years. But now with the verdict I accept it, but with reservations," he said. "But I have (had) enough. I'm leaving the rest for God to get my revenge," Al Fayed said. "I'm not doing anything any more ... this is the end." The coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, had told the jury that Al Fayed and his legal team had not produced any evidence that the Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, was involved in the fatal car crash in Paris on Aug. 31, 1997. Prime Minister Gordon Brown backed the princes as well. "I think the princes, William and Harry, have spoken for the whole country when they say this is time to bring this to an end," Brown said Tuesday. Al Fayed had claimed that MI6 agents were taking orders from Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. When he testified under oath, Al Fayed said he would accept the jury's verdict. But Michael Cole, another spokesman for Al Fayed, complained in a GMTV interview that the jury had not been allowed to hear evidence from Philip and the queen. "When he (Al Fayed) made that declaration, it was on the assumption that the jury would be allowed to hear everything. They weren't," Cole said. "He had no way of knowing that so many key French witnesses would refuse to come forward," Cole said, apparently referring to the lack of testimony from most of the paparazzi and from two French experts who conducted tests on the blood of the couple's driver, Henri Paul. Paul was acting head of security at the Ritz Hotel, owned by Al Fayed. Asked whether Al Fayed felt any responsibility for Paul's drinking on the job, Witty replied: "It was a tragedy what happened to Henri Paul. Henri Paul was an employees of the Ritz, which is not the same as saying an employee of Mohamed." In his summation, Lord Justice Baker categorically dismissed claims of MI6 involvement. "There is no evidence that the Duke of Edinburgh (Prince Philip) ordered Diana's execution and there is no evidence that the Secret Intelligence Service or any other government agency organized it," Baker said. In his testimony, Al Fayed had called Philip a Nazi and accused a large number of people of being involved in a murder plot and cover up - including Henri Paul; the couple's bodyguards, who were employees of Al Fayed; former Prime Minister Tony Blair; Diana's sister and a brother-in-law; the British ambassador to Paris; the French medical service; two French toxicologists; French and British police; and the intelligence agencies of Britain, France and the United States. The coroner disclosed Tuesday that he would not seek a police investigation of Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, for alleged perjury. In his summation, Baker had said Burrell was among the witnesses who had obviously lied at the inquest or elsewhere. Burrell, who has written two books about his years with Diana, had been caught on a hidden camera saying he had not told the whole truth during his three days of testimony at the inquest.