Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Thursday, 10 April 2008 15:23 UK

Judges back Diana coroner stance

Princess Diana
Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris in 1997

The decision not to call the Queen and Prince Philip to give evidence at Princess Diana's inquest was not "flawed", High Court judges have said.

Mohamed Al Fayed's legal team had sought a judicial review of coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker's decision.

Sir Igor Judge, Mr Justice Walker and Mr Justice Gross have handed down reasons for rejecting that application.

The jury returned verdicts of unlawful killing on Diana and Dodi Al Fayed, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997.

They found that they were the victims of "gross negligence" by driver Henri Paul and the paparazzi.

Sir Igor Judge, Mr Justice Walker and Mr Justice Gross have now provided written reasons for rejecting the application by Harrods owner Mr Al Fayed on 18 March.

Sir Igor said: "In essence the basis on which he [the coroner] was now being asked to call the Duke of Edinburgh as a witness and to address questions to Her Majesty The Queen, was to inquire into a new minted speculative theory."

New theory

He said it was clear that Mr Al Fayed's legal team had wanted Prince Philip to be called for cross-examination to determine if he had been so hostile to Diana that secret service members arranged for her to be killed "without his knowledge, or the knowledge of those responsible for the service".

Sir Igor added: "In our judgment the coroner was entitled to conclude that the new theory, whether it went to rumour and speculation or indeed 'how' the deceased met their deaths, when examined in the light of existing evidence, did not make it expedient to ask the questions intended to be raised with the Duke of Edinburgh and the questions asked of Her Majesty the Queen."

He said Lord Justice Baker's analysis suggested "there was nothing in the proposed evidence which would be of advantage to the jury when reaching their verdict".

"The stark reality was that enough was enough," he said.





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