for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

Fayed says UK royals wanted to "get rid of" Diana

LONDON (Reuters) - Luxury storeowner Mohamed al-Fayed said on Monday the death of Princess Diana and his son Dodi in a 1997 Paris car crash was murder and accused the British royal family of wanting to “get rid” of Diana.

Mohamed al-Fayed (R) waves to journalists as he arrives for the inquest into the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi al-Fayed, at the High Court in London February 18, 2008. REUTERS/Alessia Pierdomenico

In an emotional appearance at the inquest into their deaths, al-Fayed accused Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband and Diana’s former father-in-law, of being a “Nazi” and a “racist.”

“You want to know his original name -- it ends with Frankenstein,” al-Fayed told the court.

He said Diana, divorced from heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, had “suffered for 20 years from this Dracula family”.

After waiting more than a decade for his day in court, al-Fayed came close to tears, shaking his head and taking a tissue out of his pocket as his voice cracked.

But then later the Egyptian-born tycoon, who alleges that the British security services murdered Diana on Prince Philip’s orders, turned angrily on one of the lawyers, accusing him of talking “out of your backside”.

French and British police investigations have both concluded their deaths were tragic accidents caused by a speeding driver who was found to have been drunk. Both inquiries rejected al-Fayed’s conspiracy theories.

Related Coverage

Al-Fayed said of Diana’s former husband, Prince Charles: “He participated and I’m sure he knew what was going to happen.”

He said this was “because he would like to get on and marry his Camilla and that is what happened. They cleared the decks. They finished her. They murdered her.”

“He married his crocodile wife and he is happy with that,” al-Fayed said of Charles.

“It was slaughter, not murder,” he told the court.

SECURITY SERVICES

He said: “Diana told me on the telephone she was pregnant. I am the only person they told. They told me they were engaged and would announce their engagement on Monday morning (three days after the crash).”

Slideshow ( 2 images )

The inquest has heard testimony from people close to Diana and from specialists dismissing any suggestion the two were about to announce an engagement or that Diana was pregnant.

Diana, 36, Dodi, 42, and driver Henri Paul, a Fayed employee, were killed when their limousine crashed in a road tunnel as they sped away from the Ritz Hotel in Paris with paparazzi in pursuit.

Under British law, an inquest is needed to determine the cause of death when someone dies unnaturally.

Al-Fayed said French and British security and intelligence services had colluded in killing his son and Diana, and in carrying out a subsequent coverup.

“French intelligence helped the British intelligence to execute their murder,” he said.

Al-Fayed peppered his testimony with allegations, accusing everyone from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to Diana’s sister Sarah, from the French embalmers of Diana’s body to the Paris ambulance drivers of being implicated.

Asked if Prince Philip was at the heart of the conspiracy, he said: “That’s right.”

Then asked if British security services were acting on the orders of Blair as well, he replied: “Yes sir, because I am sure he knows what they are going to do, definitely.”

Additional reporting by Robert Woodward; Editing by Charles Dick

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up