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The BBC's Jonny Dymond
"He wants to know what they know"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 30 August, 2000, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Al Fayed sues CIA over Diana
Diana and Dodi Fayed
A shrine to the couple was erected at Harrods
Mohamed al Fayed has announced a lawsuit against US Government agencies to gain access to documents which he believes relate to the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and his son Dodi.

On the eve of the third anniversary of the Paris car crash which claimed the pair's lives, the Harrods owner made a pre-recorded video statement to a news conference in Washington DC.

He said he would file a civil lawsuit on Thursday with the aim of forcing agencies including the CIA and the FBI to hand over documents, video and audio tapes, which he alleges will show that the couple were murdered.

Diana and Dodi died when a Mercedes driven by Henri Paul, the deputy head of security at the Paris Ritz, ploughed into a pillar in a Paris road tunnel on 31 August 1997.

Mohamed al Fayed
Mohamed al Fayed wants a further investigation
French police found that Mr Paul, who also died in the crash, had been drinking heavily and was speeding when the accident happened.

But Mr al Fayed has refused to accept the French findings and remains convinced that the pair were murdered. He has previously alleged that MI6 was involved.

In his Washington statement he said: "Federal agencies of the United States of America possess documents which may provide vital information as to the cause of the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and my son Dodi.

"They refuse to release many of them on the basis that they would jeopardise national security.

"I believe they are withholding some of the documents at the request of the British Secret Service who cannot afford to let the truth be known."

Quiet remembrance

The Royal Family, however, is planning to mark the anniversary in a low key fashion.

Prince William will be spending the third anniversary of his mother's death away from home on a survival course with the Welsh Guards in Belize.

His brother, Prince Harry, who is almost 16 years old, will be with his father, the Prince of Wales, at Balmoral, the Queen's private estate in the Scottish Highlands.

Prince William
Prince William is away from home
Charles and Harry were with the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen Mother at Crathie Church, Balmoral, last Sunday.

Prayers were said although Diana was not mentioned by name, as is traditional in the Church of Scotland.

The Princess's brother, Earl Spencer, is expected to spend the anniversary quietly at Althorp, the Spencer family's ancestral home where Diana was laid to rest on an island in a lake.

In London, people are expected to lay flowers at the gates of Kensington Palace, Diana's former home.

In Paris, more floral tributes are expected to be left at the unofficial shrine above the Pont d'Alma tunnel where the fatal crash happened.

The Princess will also be remembered in prayers at Westminster Abbey where her funeral service took place.

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