Monday, February 18, 2008
Diana inquest: 'Hot murder'
If the public following the inquest into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and her lover expected a showdown in Court 73 from Mohamed Al Fayed , they certainly got one.
The billionaire father of Dodi Al Fayed, who died in a car crash with Diana, was testifying in the inquest into the couple's death. And within minutes, the teary-eyed Egyptian called the August 1997 crash "hot murder."
"I will not rest until I die. If I lose everything to find the truth," Al Fayed told the court.
Al Fayed repeated his allegations that the royal ramily was responsible for the crash, that Diana was pregnant and that the couple was about to announced their engagement. Allegations a string of other witnesses have denied.
When an inquest lawyer challenged Al Fayed as to why he didn't tell everybody as soon as he knew about Diana and Dodi"s alleged engagment, Al Fayed tersely replied, "it was one hour before they were murdered. Am I going to announce it after they were dead?"
He also added his allegation that Prince Philip -- the husband of the Queen -- couldn't bear to have a Muslim be stepfather to the future king of England.
Al Fayed then let out a torrent of claims and exhortations: That members of the Royal family were racist and that he deserved a fair hearing in court because he had brought so much business into the UK.
Some of his curt answers actually drew laughter from members of the public watching the testimony via video in an adjourning room.
"Diana suffered for 20 years from this Dracula family," Al Fayed said, to chuckles inside and outside the court.
Some of the exchanges would be funny, were it not so clear that Al Fayed is still grieving for his son -- and is clearly disturbed by suggestions his version of events are "hallucinations."
The inquest continues...
From CNN correspondent Alphonso Van Marsh in London
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