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Coroner: No evidence of Diana murder plot

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  • Coroner says no evidence Prince Philip involved with Princess Diana's death
  • Jurors can decide if Diana, Dodi Fayed died due to accident or negligence
  • Fayed's father alleges couple targeted by conspiracy directed by Prince Philip
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- The coroner who is leading an inquest into the death of Princess Diana says there is "no evidence" that the British secret service -- or any other government agency -- had anything to do with the princess' death in 1997.

Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a Paris car crash on August 31, 1997.

Summing up in the inquest Monday, Lord Justice Scott Baker told jurors they had the option of deciding that Diana and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed died as the result of an accident, gross negligence by driver Henri Paul or the paparazzi following their car.

He said many allegations made by Fayed's father Mohamed Al Fayed were "so demonstrably without foundation" that even his lawyer was no longer pursuing them.

Fayed, who owns London's Harrods department store, alleges that the British government had a hand in the car crash that killed Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. Yet Baker said his assertions "are not being pursued because there is not a shred of evidence to support them."

"Foremost among them is the proposition that Diana was assassinated by the secret intelligence service (MI6) on the orders of the Duke of Edinburgh" -- Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

Scott Baker said it was not open to the jury to find that Philip or anyone else had staged the crash.

Al Fayed rejected the coroner's statement. "It is terrible," he said as he emerged from the Royal Courts of Justice. "It's all biased."

The inquest is the official British inquiry into the deaths of the princess and Fayed in a Paris car crash August 31, 1997, while they were fleeing paparazzi photographers. It began October 2 and has already cost more than $6 million of taxpayers' money.

More than 240 witnesses have given evidence since last October, including Diana's close friends, Prince Philip's private secretary, a former head of the Secret Intelligence Service and Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell.

The inquest takes account of the findings of French and British police, which conducted separate investigations into the crash. Both police investigations found the crash was an accident.

Some witnesses reported seeing a white Fiat Uno shortly before the fatal crash, which also killed and driver Henri Paul. The car has never been traced.

Photographer James Andanson owned a white Fiat Uno, and there have long been questions about whether it was his car that hit the Mercedes.

Adding to the mystery, Andanson was found dead in a burned-out car two years after the crash, leading conspiracy theorists to say he was part of the murder plot and was "assassinated" to cover up his role.

Mohamed Al Fayed testified at the inquest in February that he believed Andanson was paid by Britain's MI6 -- the Secret Intelligence Service -- to cause the crash with his Fiat.

"He owned the Fiat which pushed the car," Al Fayed said, adding he believed MI6 later killed Andanson to keep him quiet.


"He has been later murdered because -- for the security service, avoiding that he will again turn against them and say exactly what happened," Al Fayed said. "They had to get rid of him."

However, the coroner said Monday: "There is no evidence that the Duke of Edinburgh ordered Diana's execution, and there is no evidence that the secret intelligence service or any other government agency organized it." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Princess DianaDodi Al-FayedRoyaltyJames Bond

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