A loss that’s still res­onat­ing

> Princess Diana’s shock­ing death 20 years ago con­tin­ues to trig­ger a del­uge of spec­u­la­tions and con­spir­a­cies to this day

The Sun (Malaysia) - - LIFESTYLE -

se­ri­ous head in­juries and said he could not re­mem­ber de­tails of events be­fore the crash.

For­mal in­quests in Bri­tain and France con­tin­ued for more than a decade, but even­tu­ally, they dis­missed the most sen­sa­tional al­le­ga­tions.

“If ever there was a case that has gen­er­ated ru­mour and sus­pi­cion, and in­deed it has done so on an in­ter­na­tional scale, surely this is it,” Lord Jus­tice Scott, who over­saw the Bri­tish in­quest, com­mented near the end of pro­ceed­ings in 2008.

A jury is­sued a ver­dict of ‘un­law­ful killing’ in 2008, fol­low­ing the in­quest, high­light­ing gross neg­li­gence by driver Henri Paul, and by pa­parazzi who were pur­su­ing the car at high speed.

It said the lack of op­er­a­tional seat­belts and al­co­hol con­sumed by Paul were con­trib­u­tory fac­tors.

Has­nat Khan, a heart sur­geon whose two-year re­la­tion­ship with Diana had ended ear­lier in 1997, told a sep­a­rate Op­er­a­tion Paget in­quiry by Lon­don’s Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice that he found “no ev­i­dence that any­one was op­posed to his re­la­tion­ship with the Princess of Wales (Diana) other than her own mother”.

The re­port con­cluded that Diana had “ex­plored the pos­si­bil­ity of an in­ter-faith mar­riage” to Has­nat, but it said its ev­i­dence sug­gested she had not in­tended to marry Dodi and did not be­lieve she was preg­nant.

Has­nat said Diana had told him in De­cem­ber 1995 that she had changed her car be­cause “the brakes had been tam­pered with” on her pre­vi­ous ve­hi­cle, while other wit­nesses said she had con­cerns for her safety.

The in­quests did not sat­isfy the doubters. Mo­hamed bankrolled the 2011 doc­u­men­tary film, Un­law­ful Killing, di­rected by Bri­tish ac­tor and co­me­dian Keith Allen, which in­cluded claims that the royal fam­ily had wanted Diana “con­signed to a men­tal in­sti­tu­tion”.

Writ­ing in The Guardian on the film’s ban in Bri­tain af­ter the mak­ers re­jected dozens of pro­posed cuts, Allen al­leged that many “sig­nif­i­cant wit­nesses” were not called or de­clined to speak at the in­quest into Diana’s death.

He ac­cused the Bri­tish es­tab­lish­ment, in­clud­ing the me­dia, of “qui­etly sup­press­ing un­com­fort­able ev­i­dence”.

Michael Cole, a for­mer jour­nal­ist who was Mo­hamed’s pub­lic re­la­tions ad­viser for many years be­fore and af­ter 1997, has writ­ten a new book, Diana and Dodi: The Truth.

Cole de­scribes his feel­ing in 1997 that many events fol­low­ing the crash “seemed strange”.

“He sensed a cover-up, with the au­thor­i­ties on both sides of the Chan­nel anx­ious to write off the deaths of the world’s most cel­e­brated wo­man and her lover as ac­ci­den­tal,” pub­lish­ers Bite­back said.

Yet Bite­back and Cole with­drew the book just two weeks be­fore its sched­uled pub­li­ca­tion, cit­ing “an abrupt change of mind” by Mo­hamed, and leav­ing an­other void for con­spir­acy the­o­rists to fill. – dpa

(left) Diana’s royal cer­e­mo­nial fu­neral on Sept 6, 1997, watched by over two bil­lion peo­ple world­wide. (above) The tragic cou­ple, Diana and Dodi, who both died in the crash.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.