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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 September 2007, 22:27 GMT 23:27 UK
Potential Diana jurors selected
Princess Diana
The inquest will begin more than 10 years after Diana's death
Twenty-five potential jurors have been shortlisted to serve at the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.

The final 11 will be chosen by ballot at the start of the hearing on Tuesday.

Some 227 candidates were summoned by letter to London's Royal Courts of Justice but only 80 turned up. They were questioned over their suitability.

Diana and Dodi Al Fayed died in a car crash in the Pont d'Alma tunnel in Paris on 31 August 1997.

Millions of words have been spoken and written
Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker

At the High Court, coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker told the 80 candidates that the deaths of Diana and Dodi more than 10 years ago had "created worldwide interest on an unprecedented scale".

He said candidates had not been given advance notice of their involvement because of this interest and that the inquest would not be "any ordinary case".

"Millions of words have been spoken and written. There are numerous books, television programmes, articles that have been published, some by those who are closely involved in surrounding events and some not," the coroner said.

But jurors would be required to come to a decision based only on court evidence, he said.

"If there are any articles in the newspapers do not read them and if there are any television programmes about the death of Diana or any news items about these inquests you should not look at them," he told the candidates.

Questions list

The coroner said those candidates chosen to form the jury would be escorted to and from court by a special Scotland Yard protection unit - a measure believed to be unprecedented.

"I am very anxious that you should not be harassed or hassled in any way," the coroner said.

Potential jurors were handed a list of 10 questions ordering them to reveal any connections to the Royal Family, Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, or the security services.

The candidates, who were randomly selected from the electoral roll of the catchment area of inner west London coroner's court, were also asked to declare whether they had "any business or enterprise" connected to Mr Al Fayed.

This included his London Harrods store and Fulham Football Club - where he is chairman.

Paris visit

The court also ordered candidates to reveal any connection to MI5, MI6, government listening post GCHQ, the Metropolitan Police, the Ritz Hotel in Paris, from where Diana and Dodi set off on the night they died, or any of the witnesses involved in the case.

Of the 25 potential jurors chosen for Tuesday's ballot, 15 are women and 10 are men.

The inquest, which will sit each Monday to Thursday, could last up to six months.

The jury will be flown to Paris in the second week of the hearing, at which point they will retrace Diana's final journey.

The four main aims of any inquest are to establish who the victim was, when, where and how the person died.




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