- The father of Dodi Al Fayed has told
a British newspaper he believes the car crash that killed Diana, Princess
of Wales, and his son was a conspiracy, not an accident.
- Mohamed Al Fayed makes a number of controversial
claims in his interview with The Mirror.
- In a five-page spread, the Harrods boss
also said he had received Princess Diana's last words and insisted she
and Dodi were engaged to marry.
- Mr Al Fayed, the owner of the Paris Ritz,
where Diana and Dodi had their last meal, said he was speaking out to counter
the "rubbish" spread about the crash.
- "I believe in my heart 99.9% that
it was not an accident," he told The Mirror.
- "That car didn't accidentally crash.
There was a conspiracy. I will not rest until I have established exactly
- "I have great confidence in the
investigators in Paris and I believe that we will find the truth."
- A spokeswoman at Diana's office would
not comment on the story but added: "This continued speculation is
both unhelpful and upsetting to the family."
- A spokesman for Buckingham Palace added:
"The investigation is ongoing and it would be inappropriate to make
any comment while that is the case."
- "Drinking is part of the French
- In the days after the August 31 crash,
tests found driver Henri Paul, who was employed by the Ritz, had drunk
the equivalent of two bottles of wine before getting into the Mercedes
- This shifted the focus of public blame
from the paparazzi who had been pursuing the car onto Mr Paul. He was also
found to be taking prescription drugs shortly before his death in the crash.
- Mr Al Fayed initially refused to accept
these claims but further tests appeared to confirm them.
- He told The Mirror: "Everybody wants
to blame the driver. It suits everyone to say it was just a drunken driver.
- "But you have to remember that drinking
is part of the French lifestyle.
- "Many people drive over there with
alcohol in their blood but it doesn't mean they are incapable of driving.
Nothing in his performance in the hours leading up to him driving the car
suggested he was drunk or incapable of driving."
- Al Fayed paid for Dodi's engagement ring
- Mr Al Fayed is also quoted in The Mirror
as saying he paid £150,000 for an engagement ring that Dodi planned
to give Diana at the other end of their fatal journey.
- But, Mr Al Fayed said, Princess Diana
had already accepted his son's proposal of marriage.
- "I know the truth because I am his
father," he said.
- "He rang me personally to tell me
that they were engaged."
- Mr Al Fayed said he was sure Diana had
mentioned the subject to her children, Princes William and Harry.
- The final likely controversy in the first
of two days of revelations from Mr Al Fayed in The Mirror is his insistence
he did talk to an unnamed nurse at the Paris hospital who passed on Diana's
last words to him.
- Doctors who treated the princess have
previously said it would have been impossible for her to talk because of
her condition during the time between the crash and her death.
- But Mr Al Fayed said a female nurse approached
him and told him Diana had requested her possessions in Dodi's apartment
be given to her sister.
- Flow of conspiracy theories
- Intense interest in the life of Diana,
Princess of Wales, has caused many conspiracy theories to emerge about
- A stream of books and magazine articles
keep on providing fresh arguments for those who doubt the crash was an
- Many conspiracy theories focus on the
fact that Dodi Al Fayed was a Muslim. In Egypt, a lawyer is attempting
to sue both the Queen and the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, claiming
they conspired to kill Diana because her love for a Muslim would embarrass
- A bodyguard for Diana, Princess of Wales,
Trevor Rees Jones, was also badly injured in the crash. He has said he
has no memory of the exact moments before the car struck a pillar in a