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Diana: Spies' evidence is kept secret

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 11:12 pm    Post subject: Diana: Spies' evidence is kept secret Reply with quote

Diana: Spies' evidence is kept secret
Commentary by DeepJournal

In addition to the article below also read the four part series by DeepJournal on the death of princess Diana.
By Mark Reynolds
Vital witness statements from British secret service agents about the death of Princess Diana could never be revealed.

In a move likely to spark further accusations of a cover-up, the new coroner presiding over the inquest into her death ruled that they may not be heard by the jury.

He announced that the clandestine Secret Intelligence Service – MI6 – and Security Service – MI5 – documents will not be disclosed in open court unless he specifically rules otherwise.

They include submissions from both MI6 and MI5 agents on the ground in Paris the fateful night of the crash.

Their statements were made to Lord Stevens during his multi-million-pound investigation into Diana's death. Some may now never be made public.

Issuing the ruling, Lord Justice Scott Baker said he would disclose the SIS documents to all interested parties. However, he then added that those who had seen them would have to sign a document ensuring they did not mention their contents in open court before the jury.

In his ruling, Lord Justice Scott Baker explained: “The SIS documents are to be disclosed to the interested persons, subject to his/her existing undertakings as to confidentiality and subject to him/her signing an additional undertaking in the following terms:

“I undertake that neither I nor my representatives will directly refer to the contents of the SIS documents in open court unless the coroner orders otherwise.”

Effectively, the ruling means that statements from agents such as former MI6 officer Richard Tomlinson, who has publicly suggested that the Princess's death may have been the result of foul play, will not be revealed to the jury unless the coroner allows it.

British secret service agents were believed to have been with the driver of the Mercedes, Henri Paul, in the hours leading up to the crash.

Many believe that Paul was on the payroll of the intelligence services – £2,000 in cash was found on him and large sums of money were discovered in his bank account after his death.

Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi also died in the crash in Paris in 1997, has long fought for transparency and fairness at the forthcoming inquest.

But yesterday's announcement will do little to reassure the Harrods boss, who believes the Princess and Dodi were murdered in a plot hatched by the Establishment.

The decision to prevent intelligence statements being heard by the jury adds weight to those who believe the Establishment is trying to prevent information potentially embarrassing to both the Royal Family and the Government being made public.

Lord Justice Scott Baker, who became the fourth Royal Coroner after taking over from Lady Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, has already caused controversy by warning that reporting of pre-inquest hearings could be hit by gagging orders “on an ad hoc basis”.

There was also much debate over why Lord Stevens's report into the crash was published early – before the inquest itself. Mr Al Fayed believes the findings of Lord Stevens's Paget Inquiry failed take into account statements from at least 13 eyewitnesses and other vital witnesses and also “largely ignored” the views of “a number of eminent independent experts”.

As a result, many of the key questions have not been satisfactorily addressed. They include:

●Was the accident the result of a plot hatched by the British Establishment?

●Was driver Henri Paul distracted by a bright flash of light as the Mercedes entered the Alma tunnel in Paris?

●What role, if any, did a mystery white Fiat Uno play in the crash?

●Why did it take so long for Diana to reach hospital after the crash?

●Why did pathologists break French law by embalming the Princess's body without the permission of either the authorities or relatives, thus rendering pregnancy tests invalid?

●As has been claimed by French investigators, were blood samples from Henri Paul swapped to make it appear that he had been drinking, thus allowing a dead man to take the blame for the tragic crash?

Last night a spokesman for Mr Al Fayed declined to comment on the latest development.

The Harrods boss's legal team has already successfully challenged an earlier ruling by former coroner Lady Butler-Sloss that the inquest be held without a jury. There will be another pre-hearing on July 9, with the full inquest due to begin in October.
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