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February 17, 2008

The cost of an ego?

The Public Enquiry into the death of the late Princess of Wales rumbles on. Or at least, apparently, its gravy train does. It sometimes seems that every nutcase idea that Al Fayed can dream up has to be explored by dragging in every recalcitrant ex-MI6 agent they can find and trotting him through his "conspiracy" piece. But the cost mounts daily and what is the likely outcome? Forgive me for asking I'm sure, but, if this little exercise is assuaging Mr Al Fayed's over expanded ego is already £6 million (Of Taxpayers money!) what benefit are we, the tax payers getting from airing all of this half baked trash in public anyway?

There has been nothing new exposed - except some rather dodgy individuals spouting garbage - that was not revealed in any of the earlier inquests. OK, so maybe our "Loyal" Government have indulged in this orgy of public hysteria by the small "Diana was a Godess" mob in the hopes of speeding the introduction of their Republic of Britain, but I doubt even they would be stupid enough - unless Al Fayed threatened to dish the dirt on them they way he did to John Major's mob. Mr Al Fayed seems to me to be pursuing a personal vendetta against the Royal Family and it also appears that some in our government are hell bent on helping him. Perhaps the time has come to ask whether or not he will accept the verdict, when it is delivered, and how much of the bill he will be personally picking up.

I like the approach that Lord Stevens, the former head of the Metropolitan Police, has taken over the allegations that Mr Al Fayed's lawyers have made regarding the integrity of his investigation into the circumstances of the death of Diana and Dodi Fayed, Mr Al Fayed's son. He is asking for an apology on behalf of his staff whose integrity has been questioned by the Al Fayed team and has been rather robust in defending his report and his own reputation in the Inquiry. (See the extended post!) Interestingly Mr Al Fayed's head of Security, a former Chief Inspector in the Met, has been forced to admit that he lied in public on an ABC TV show.

And, as I have said before, if the outcome isn't what Al Fayed wants, we will be subjected to more accusations of cover-ups and conspiracy. And he will have that loyal bunch of idiots who seriously need to get a life to support him.

Then there is the group that are now bringing a private prosecution against the Serious Fraud Office, a special unit which investigates fraudulent trading or corruption, on the grounds that they acted unlawfully when they stopped an investigation into allegations that British Aerospace had handed out "sweetners" to some important Saudi's. Their case seems to me to be deliberately disingenuous. The case was stopped because it was seriously damaging relations between the EU and the Saudi Kingdom at a time when we really needed their co-operation in the War on Terror. The spokesman for the group sounds like a typical failed student agitator when he protests that "the ethical principle overrides any other questions".

Like Mr Al Fayed, it seems that these groups recognise no truth but their own. I trust that the courts will eject them and their suite with full costs. And I look forward to hearing that Mr Al Fayed has offered to meet the full costs of this massaging of his ego - and perhaps Liberty and one or two other groups should be invited to pay as well.

Mohamed al Fayed's controversial theories about the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, have come under fire.

The Harrods tycoon listened quietly as layers of his theory that Diana was murdered in a 1997 car crash by MI6 on the order of the Duke of Edinburgh because she was pregnant and set to get engaged to his son Dodi were stripped down.

The jury heard Lord Stevens, who carried out Operation Paget, the official investigation into the conspiracy theories, publicly denounce for the first time "scurrilous allegations" about his professionalism.

He condemned suggestions that he or his team had been negligent, not done their job properly and that he had been "got at" regarding the evidence in the report.

Calling the allegations "quite outrageous," he said: "I will take that on my behalf, but I will not have it said about people who worked for me for four years, who sometimes cannot defend themselves on these issues."

Lord Steven's report, published in December 2006, found the deaths were a tragic accident and also that driver Henri Paul was three times the French drink-drive limit.

In contrast to an eye-catching headline back in 1997 which claimed Mr Paul was "drunk as a pig", Lord Stevens described him on the night as "under the influence of alcohol". He told the jury: "Looking at the CCTV, looking at the witness statements, we knew that Henri Paul by account had a high tolerance for drink and in all honesty we could not say he was drunk, in our definition."

Lord Stevens also hit back at the suggestion he had used a November 2006 meeting with Mr Paul's parents, Jean and Gisele, to deliberately mislead them over what he would say about how much their son had drunk. He said: "That's outrageous, and I'm looking for an apology in relation to that."

Meanwhile, John Macnamara, a retired Metropolitan Police detective chief superintendent and Mr al Fayed's director of security in August 1997, accepted he had lied in public when he claimed in a television interview that Mr Paul had only drunk pineapple juice.

The jury heard that Mr Macnamara knew Mr Paul had two drinks from bar records he was handed on a visit to Paris immediately after the crash. But he failed to mention it when he took part in an ABC programme on US television on September 10 1997.

Posted by The Gray Monk at February 17, 2008 08:35 PM

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