Expatica news

France to compensate Al Fayed over Diana inquiry

Paris – A court has ordered the French authorities to pay Mohamed Al Fayed EUR 5,000 (USD 7,500) over an inquiry into Princess Diana’s fatal car crash, according to a judgment seen by AFP on Friday.

Al Fayed, the billionaire owner of London’s upmarket Harrods department store, has long claimed Diana and Dodi Fayed, her boyfriend and Al Fayed’s son, were murdered as part of an establishment plot.

He said he was delighted with Friday’s ruling, which said delays to an inquiry into the 1997 crash in Paris had amounted to a "denial of justice".

Speaking in London, Al Fayed said: "I am delighted that the French court has recognised that I have been denied justice.

"The two pathologists have been condemned for mixing up the blood samples and slowing down the investigation. It supports my view that there was a cover up by the French and an attempt to conceal the truth."

He also repeated his belief that the inquiry should have been treated as a murder investigation.

Al Fayed brought a case against the French state in 2007 after a judge dismissed a challenge to the original inquest ruling that the crash had been caused by chauffeur Henri Paul’s drunkenness.

The billionaire argued the case had been slowed by mistakes made by the judge in charge.

In a judgment handed down on Wednesday, the court ruled that problems had "delayed the case without good reason for nearly two years".

The French authorities were ordered to pay Al Fayed EUR 5,000 compensation and a further EUR 3 ,000 in legal fees.

A British inquest jury in April delivered a verdict of unlawful killing over the deaths, blaming the driving of their chauffeur Henri Paul, who was also killed, and chasing paparazzi photographers.