As we said in our news of 12 January 2004, the London Daily Mirror obviously believes that, at least as regards Prince Charles, ethics and decency should not get in the way of increased circulation and profits. Fortunately, other parts of the media are prepared to tell the truth, a point we shall return to below. In contempt of the coronial investigation-if not legal contempt, certainly moral- the paper had claimed that Diana believed Charles was plotting to kill her and that her death would be disguised as an accident. This was published in Paul Burrell 's book, but the words identifying the Prince were blanked out. Burrell affected great regret when the Mirror revealed this reference, but says he published the letter because Diana deserved an inquest. If this is so, Burrell was not, it seems, in any hurry. The Mirror itself says the coroner's staff had wanted to see Burrell from the time the book came out. But he wasn't available -he had to go around the world to promote his book!
Having done as much damage it could, the Mirror then compounds its offence by saying no one actually believes Charles killed Diana! And its own palace correspondent agrees with the editor. He says the sums Prince Charles raises for charity are phenomenal. So why did the Mirror name the Prince? The letter has not even been admitted in evidence by the coroner and there is no guarantee that it will be. We don't even know if it is genuine and when it was written. Now the facts established in the French inquest are clear. Diana and Dodi had made several changes as to what they should do that fateful evening in Paris. No one could have known where they were going, because they themselves were not sure. Although they sought privacy, they went to the Ritz where they would have been recognized and the press alerted. They left the Ritz in another car and with another driver to avoid the press. Their new driver, Henri Paul, had been drinking and had taken drugs. Diana was not wearing a seatbelt. In the 16th arrondisement, they took a road, at high speed, which led into a tunnel near the Pont d'Alma. The car left the road and crashed headlong into one of several pillars in the tunnel-there were no guardrails. The London Daily Mail has recently obtained the evidence given to the French inquest of the only direct witness of the accident. This is crucial-and the French judge thought so The Mail published a report of this evidence on Thursday, 15 January. It confirms all these facts, and, sadly for all those who have sought to profit from them, it puts paid to each and every one of the rumours that this was not an accident.
The witness, Mohamed Medjandi, aged 29, was in front and saw Diana's car careering out of control and hurling towards him. He had to accelerate to avoid being hit. There was a huge explosion as the car bounced between a concrete pillar and the wall. "It was a dreadful sound… I can't get the sight and sound out of my head. I can still hear the screeching of those brakes" The Mail says the police interviewed the witness repeatedly and his evidence is a key part of the dossier prepared by the French judge. Most importantly the witness insists no other person or car was involved. The paparazzi photographers were nowhere in sight. There was no evidence of the mysterious Fiat rumoured to have collided deliberately with the Mercedes. The French judge found that the driver who was speeding and was under the influence of drugs and alcohol caused the accident. A few days before the Mail's report, The Times lead with story that tried to cast doubt on this finding. This was that the French had not obtained a DNA report to confirm that the blood sample was actually that of the driver. But as one retired police officer said on television, the British police themselves do not normally obtain a DNA report- unless there is a doubt as to the source of the sample. And of course there was no doubt at the time about the sample-the doubt was manufactured later, for reasons which are obvious. The French authorities would not release the papers of the investigation until all of the several legal proceedings brought by Dodi's father in France were finalised. Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed has, at different times, claimed that different persons or entities (MI6 and the CIA) had murdered or were involved in t he murder of his son and the Princess of Wales. The French inquest found no evidence of any of this.
In the absence of any evidence whatsoever to the contrary, that finding was not at all surprising. And now, thanks to the Daily Mail we have the evidence of the only eyewitness. It is not of course surprising the some would seek to profit from this sad story. Given the way they have behaved, insinuating scandal and guilt, it is not surprising that some people responding to an opinion poll commissioned by those who have the most to gain from keeping alive the suggestion of scandal, should give them the answers they so desperately and obviously crave. And of course that poll was predictably to be the subject of shock headlines, and endless comment by concerned royal watchers predicting the end of the monarchy. The ethical course of conduct would be for them all of them now would be, at the very least, to concede that they could have been wrong. The chances of such an admission would be close to zero. They will just move on to fresh rumours and fresh so-called scandals.