PAUL BURRELL: THE BOOK OF THE CENTURY: I WANT JUSTICE; Blair must accept the time is right for a public inquiry. Delay will look as if he is colluding in a cover-up - MOHAMED AL FAYED YESTERDAY.
MOHAMED Al Fayed yesterday said Paul Burrell's disclosure of the sensational Diana letter in the Daily Mirror "confirmed his suspicions" that she was murdered along with his son Dodi.
As opinion polls revealed that the majority of people now believe the Princess of Wales was deliberately killed, Mr Al Fayed urged Tony Blair to launch a full public inquiry into the deaths of Diana and Dodi.
The Harrods owner, who maintains that the couple were assassinated by the British Secret Service, said: "The Prime Minister must now accept that the time is right for a full public inquiry. Further delay will look as though he is colluding in a cover-up and the people of this country will not tolerate that."
A survey on mirror.co.uk showed that 77 per cent of people now think Diana was murdered.
And of 6,000 viewers who responded to a Sky News poll, 87 per cent said her death was no accident.
As the Daily Mirror's scoop dominated world headlines, foreign newspapers and television stations also posed questions about what it meant for the Royal Family.
The Times of India called the story a "pulverising PR blow to the British Royal Family".
Meanwhile, Mr Al Fayed said copies of the letter had been given to his French lawyers. He intends to press the French authorities to re-examine the 1997 crash in a Paris underpass.
Mr Al Fayed said: "This is a great help. Mr Burrell has exposed the very real fear that Diana felt. She knew what was going to happen to her.
"I'm only asking for the answers that any devoted father would want of his son's murder."
Mr Al Fayed has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds trying to discover the truth. But he claims that the British authorities have so far ignored every appeal he has made.
He said: "Several years ago I made a personal appeal to Tony Blair for a public inquiry.
"I met him and delivered a two-page letter setting out the reasons for such an investigation. My pleas fell on deaf ears and my request was refused without reason."
Mr Al Fayed, now based in Switzerland after he was refused a British passport, added: "In what must now be seen as a cynical attempt to silence him, Paul Burrell was prosecuted in the criminal courts.
"During the investigation which led to that failed prosecution, Scotland Yard acquired a mass of explosive evidence from Burrell, in the form of letters, tapes and video-tapes, which again has not seen the light of day."
Mr Al Fayed called on Mr Burrell to give evidence in an inquiry. He said: "It is his civic duty to tell all that he knows about the involvement of others, including the security services, in this conspiracy."
No date has yet been set for an inquest into the deaths of Diana or Dodi. But British law insists that an inquest should be conducted in every case where a body is returned to Britain following a death abroad.
And a spokeswoman for coroner Michael Burgess reiterated that an inquest would be held in due course.
Driver Henri Paul was also killed in the crash on August 31, 1997, and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones suffered severe facial injuries.
Mr Al Fayed rejects the findings of Judge Herve Stephan, who carried out the pounds 6million French investigation into the crash. He said it was caused by Paul driving too fast while under the influence of drink and drugs.
Mr Al Fayed has supported a court action launched by Henri Paul's parents against the finding.
He has also released to the Mirror a private letter he sent to Mr Blair pleading to know "exactly what happened about the deaths".
He told the PM: "It is because you are a loving father yourself that I have taken the liberty of writing.
"I trust you will understand this, just as you will understand my compulsion to find the truth about the death of my son and the wonderful woman he loved."
Last night Buckingham Palace, on behalf of the Queen, and St James's Palace, on behalf of Prince Charles, refused to comment. One royal source, however, said: "I am sure as far as the Queen and Prince of Wales are concerned they would prefer a line to be drawn under this."
A spokeswoman for Diana's brother Earl Spencer said he was aware of the newspaper story but had no comment. Solicitors acting for Trevor Rees-Jones said: "He's not interested in commenting on the crash now - he really wants to be left alone."
DETERMINED: Mohamed al Fayed in London yesterday; SHRINE: Memorial to Diana and Dodi in Harrods
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Oct 21, 2003|
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