Al Fayed hopes ‘truth will come out’

MOHAMED AL FAYED insisted last night that his son Dodi and Princess Diana were the victims of “absolutely black and white, horrendous murder”.

Speaking at the end of the opening of the inquest into Dodi’s death, the Harrods boss said he was “hoping that the truth will come out”.

And asked about the Daily Mirror’s decision to identify Prince Charles as the senior Royal who Diana believed was plotting to kill her in a car crash, he said: “But I am always saying this from the beginning.”

An emotional Mr Al Fayed described the death of his son as a “great tragedy”.

He said: “It is a great tragedy, it is very difficult for me ... a very difficult time, very emotional.”

When asked what he thought had happened on the night his son died, Mr Al Fayed replied: “I already mentioned it and I am mentioning it all the time ... it is absolutely black and white, horrendous murder.”

Asked if he thought the truth of what happened in Paris would come out, Mr Al Fayed said: “I believe in God and I hope that what happened today at the inquest, am hoping that the truth will come out.”

He was then asked about his feelings on the decision to ask the police to investigate the crash.

He said: “I think the police inquiry is part of the inquest, the coroner has to use the police.”

Earlier, Surrey coroner Michael Burgess formally opened the inquest into the death of Dodi Fayed at the Wray Park International Centre in Reigate.

One of Mr Burgess’s officers, Keith Brown, began the hearing by reading out the place and date of birth of Mr Fayed, his address in west London and his occupation, a company director.

Mr Burgess then went on to read the same statement he had read out at the opening of the inquest into the death of Princess Diana earlier yesterday. He outlined the purposes of the inquest as a fact-finding exercise and said it was not adversarial in nature like criminal or civil proceedings.

Mr Burgess said the death of Mr Fayed had come under his jurisdiction after his body was repatriated to Surrey following the car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997.

He then went on to describe how a post mortem examination had been carried out before Mr Fayed was buried at a cemetery in Surrey in accordance with the wishes of his father Mr Al Fayed.

As he did earlier yesterday morning, Mr Burgess confirmed that he had asked the Metropolitan Police Commissioner to investigate “speculation” that the deaths of Diana and Mr Fayed were not the result of a “sad but relatively straightforward” road accident.

He added that he had still to determine whether there would be a single hearing or two separate inquests and whether a jury would be summoned.

Mr Burgess adjourned the hearing for 12 to 15 months when he would be in a position to resume the case.

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