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Alfayed says cash investigator blackmailed by intelligence

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   http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyid=2006-12-13T143959Z_01_N13417251_RTRUKOC_0_US-BRITAIN-DIANA-FATHER.xml&src=rss&rpc=22

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=topNews&storyid=2006-12-13T143959Z_01_N13417251_RTRUKOC_0_US-BRITAIN-DIANA-FATHER.xml&src=rss&rpc=22

Al Fayed calls Diana accident report "outrageous"
Wed Dec 13, 2006 9:41am ET148

By Jeremy Pelofsky

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The father of Princess Diana's companion on Wednesday called "outrageous" a forthcoming report that said the couple's deaths were the result of a tragic car accident rather than a murder plot.

Mohamed al Fayed, the father of Diana's lover Dodi al Fayed and owner of the famed Harrod's department store in London, also questioned whether the investigator who headed the inquiry, Sir John Stevens, was blackmailed into ruling out foul play.

"It's shocking. It's completely outrageous that a leading Scotland Yard officer can come up with such an unbelievable judgment," al Fayed said in an interview with NBC's "Today" show.

Diana, who was 36, and Dodi al Fayed died after their chauffeur-driven Mercedes crashed in a tunnel in Paris in August 1997 as they tried to elude paparazzi on motorbikes.

A two-year inquiry by French authorities in 1999 ruled that al Fayed's driver Henri Paul, who was also killed, was to blame because he was drunk and driving too fast.

Stevens, the former head of London's police force, has spent almost three years probing what happened. His investigation extended to the British royal family, conducting a lengthy interview with Diana's ex-husband Charles.

Al Fayed said his son had bought an engagement ring for Diana and that she had told him hours before the crash that she was pregnant. He also accused the British government of involvement in the plot.

Stevens is "being definitely blackmailed to say exactly what the British intelligence want him to say," al Fayed said. Without citing the source of the information, he said that six months ago British intelligence agents stole Stevens' computer.

"I'm sure they find something very devastating for him and used what they have, information, to blackmail him," he said.

Al Fayed has charged that his son and Diana were murdered by British secret services because their relationship was embarrassing the royal household.

Witnesses, officials and royal commentators have dismissed arguments that the death of Diana, who was seen as one of the world's most glamorous people, was anything more than an accident.

Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.


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