- LONDON (Reuters) - Mohamed
al Fayed, whose son Dodi died in a car crash with Princess Diana, urged
British Prime Minister Tony Blair Tuesday to launch a full public inquiry
after a secret letter showed Diana predicted her own death.
- Fayed, who owns the exclusive London store Harrods, said
the letter -- revealed Monday by Diana's former butler Paul Burrell --
echoed what the former wife of Prince Charles had told him about fears
for her life.
- "The publication by Paul Burrell of a letter written
to him by Diana ... confirms the suspicions I have so often voiced ...
and which have thus far been ignored," Fayed said in a statement.
- "The prime minister must now accept that the time
is right for a full public inquiry. Further delay will look as though he
is colluding in a cover-up and the people of this country will not tolerate
- Blair's official spokesman rejected the request: "There
has been an exhaustive investigation by the French authorities into the
circumstances surrounding Diana's death," he said. "There will
be nothing to be gained by repeating that process."
- Fayed has repeatedly claimed that Diana and his son were
murdered by British secret services because their relationship was embarrassing
to the royal household.
- Diana died alongside her lover Dodi and their chauffeur
Henri Paul when their Mercedes car crashed in a Paris tunnel on August
31, 1997 as it sped away from the Ritz hotel.
- In a letter which Burrell says she wrote in October 1996
and gave him for safekeeping, Diana says someone was planning to kill her
in a car crash.
- The person or organization she mentioned in the letter
as planning to kill her cannot be named for legal reasons.
- "This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous,"
the letter says. "(DELETED WORD/S) is planning 'an accident' in my
car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear
for Charles to marry."
- Burrell, whose book 'A Royal Duty' is due to be published
shortly, claims that before sealing the letter in an envelope marked "Paul,"
Diana told him: "I am going to date this and I want you to keep it
... just in case."
- An inquiry by French authorities in 1999 ruled the crash
was an accident caused by Paul being drunk and driving too fast.
- Paris authorities say there are no plans to reopen the
case there. "The Diana dossier is definitely closed," a source
- The British coroner charged with investigating the death
has promised there will be an inquest in Britain, but has so far declined
to set a date.
- Fayed said Diana's letter confirmed fears she voiced
before her death. "On several occasions Diana told me of the threats
she had received and of her fears for her own life," he said.
- Copyright © 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited
without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable
for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance