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Last Updated:  Saturday, 29 March, 2003, 10:08 GMT
Al Fayed to quit UK
Mohamed Al Fayed
Al Fayed will now live in Geneva
Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed has said he is going to leave the UK after claiming years of alleged persecution by the "establishment".

Mr Al Fayed said in statement he was now going to live in Geneva, Switzerland.

"Ever since the tragic death of my beloved son Dodi, the establishment attacks on me have intensified," the Egyptian-born multi-millionaire said in a written statement on Friday.

Dodi died in a Paris car crash in 1997 with Diana, Princess of Wales, and since then Mr Al Fayed has claimed the two were murdered by the secret services.

His belief was partly fed by two men who tried to sell him forged documents supporting his theory.

Faced with a 4m damages claim from Mr Al Fayed, they apologised this week as part of an out-of-court settlement.

I am leaving with a heavy heart, because this is a country where I have lived for 35 years and which I have come to love very deeply
Mohamed Al Fayed

The government has also repeatedly refused him a British passport and he has also had trouble with the tax authorities.

The tycoon had been attempting to overturn the Inland Revenue's decision to end his special tax status which allowed him to pay 240,000 a year in tax.

But Lord Gill ruled against the multi-millionaire and his brothers at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.

"For the sake of my family, the time has come," the statement read.

Cash for questions

"I am leaving with a heavy heart, because this is a country where I have lived for 35 years and which I have come to love very deeply.

"My record shows that I have contributed enormously to the economy, business infrastructure and social fabric of this country over many years."

In 2001, former MP Neil Hamilton lost a libel claim against Mr Al Fayed, who alleged that he had accepted envelopes stuffed with cash from Mr Al Fayed in exchange for asking parliamentary questions.

Mr Hamilton subsequently lost an appeal against the decision and is understood to owe about 3m in legal costs.

Football chairman

And in August 2002, he lost a High Court damages action against the Metropolitan Police for false imprisonment.

Mr Al Fayed, along with four others, claimed they were wrongly arrested in March 1998 when emeralds and other precious stones worth more than 1m went missing from a security box kept at Harrods.

The men were later released and, in July 1998, an investigation by the Metropolitan Police's Organised Crime Group ended without any charges being brought.

He is also the chairman of west London football club Fulham, which finds itself needing a new manager after he refused to renew the contract of Jean Tigana.

The club is also without a stadium and is struggling in the Premier League.




SEE ALSO:
Tigana set for Fulham exit
26 Mar 03 |  Fulham
Fayed loses police damages claim
13 Aug 02 |  England
Fayed joins Diana crash action
07 Aug 02 |  Europe


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