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Last Updated: Monday, 3 March 2008, 20:42 GMT
Diana jury told of surgeon affair
Hasnat Khan, taken in 1996 during his relationship with Princess Diana
Mr Khan feared he could never have a normal life with Diana
A heart surgeon has given his first detailed account of his two-year relationship with Princess Diana, and insisted it was Diana who ended it.

In a statement read out at her inquest, Hasnat Khan, 48, said Diana broke up with him following her holiday with Mohammed Al Fayed and his family.

He said she had denied meeting anyone else but was not her "normal self".

The jury also heard he believed Diana's death in Paris in 1997 shortly after they split up was a "tragic accident".

Mr Khan declined to appear at the High Court in person or via video link from Pakistan, where he now lives. Instead, a statement, understood to have been made to the Metropolitan Police in 2004, was read out to the jury.

Ordering drinks

They were told the princess's relationship with the surgeon began in 1995 after they met at London's Royal Brompton Hospital.

Mr Khan said Diana had been "down to earth" and "very flirtatious with everyone".

He described one occasion when the couple were in a pub and Diana had wanted to order drinks at the bar because it was something she had never done.

At a second meeting, she said it was all over between us, but she denied there was anyone else
Hasnat Khan

The jury heard the couple went on to have a normal sexual relationship and Mr Khan had "no reason to believe" Diana was ever unfaithful.

He said he had often stayed at Kensington Palace and had met princes William and Harry.

Mr Khan said he and the princess had discussed the subject of marriage, but believed the press intrusion would make his life hell.

'Pakistan move'

He said he would not be able to live a normal life and, if they ever had children together, he would never be able to take them anywhere.

The only way they could live anything near a normal life would be to move to his home country of Pakistan, where the press did not bother people, he told Diana.

So she went to Pakistan and talked to Jemima Khan, then married to cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan.

"Later I got the impression she did not consider living there a possibility," said Mr Khan.

I think it was just a terrible accident, but I am very surprised she was not wearing a seatbelt
Hasnat Khan

The affair ended a few weeks before she died after a meeting in Battersea Park, in south London.

Mr Khan said after Diana returned from a holiday with Mohamed Al Fayed and his family he thought she had met someone else because Diana was "not her normal self".

"I was surprised when she said there was no-one else. At a second meeting, she said it was all over between us, but she denied there was anyone else," he said.

It was only when he heard news broadcasts that he learned about Diana's relationship with Mr Al Fayed's son, Dodi.

'Threatening letters'

Dodi died alongside Diana in a car crash in the Pont d'Alma tunnel in Paris in August 1997.

Mr Khan said: "I think it was just a terrible accident, but I am very surprised she was not wearing a seatbelt. She was always very particular about putting her seatbelt on."

He added Diana was concerned about her personal safety, but "not paranoid" about it.

Mr Khan said she told him she had changed her Audi car because she believed the brakes had been tampered with and believed one of her protection officers had been murdered.

Diana was "always very complimentary about the Queen", he said, and although she did not like the Duke of Edinburgh, she was not afraid of him.

Mr Khan said he believed Diana finally realised Dodi "could give her all the things I could not", including security.

He added that he thought it unlikely Diana would have agreed to marry Dodi within only four weeks of getting to know him and said he would be very surprised if she had been pregnant.

A photographer, whose London home was burgled the day after Diana's death, also gave evidence.

Royal specialist Lionel Cherruault told the inquest jury a crime prevention officer had made a point of stressing he had not been targeted by the authorities in a phone call.

He said he and his wife had thought they were simply victims of a stressful but ordinary burglary in which computer equipment containing royal photographs was stolen.

The inquest continues.

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