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Diana crash inquiry rules out plot

December 15, 2006|From the Chicago Tribune

LONDON — The 1997 Paris car crash that killed Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, was an accident, not a murder plot hatched by the royal family, a British police investigation made public Thursday concluded.

The inquiry's 832-page report also said Diana was not pregnant, nor did she intend to marry Fayed even though he had purchased an engagement ring on the day of their death.

"There was no conspiracy.... This was a tragic accident," said John Stevens, a former chief of the Metropolitan Police who led the three-year investigation.

The inquiry confirmed the previous findings of the French investigation on the cause of the crash: The couple's chauffeur, Henri Paul, was drunk and driving at twice the legal speed limit in an attempt to elude paparazzi when he lost control of the car and crashed. Paul also was killed.

Fayed's father, Mohammed, immediately lambasted the inquiry's findings, calling the report "garbage" and a "cover-up."

Mohammed Fayed, the owner of Harrods department store in London, has long insisted that Diana and his son were the victims of a plot initiated by members of the royal family intent on preventing Diana, who was divorced from Prince Charles, from marrying a Muslim.

Stevens' report said Diana and Fayed's plans changed during the evening, and it would have been impossible to stage the accident to cover up a murder.

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