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TalkBack Live

Were the Deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed Part of a Conspiracy?

Aired August 30, 2000 - 3:00 p.m. ET



JOHN MACNAMARA, HARRODS SECURITY DIRECTOR: This is a statement from Mr. Al Fayed: "The car crash that took the lives of these two lovely people has been portrayed as a traffic accident caused by a drunk driving at high speed. The reality is that it was murder."


BOBBIE BATTISTA, HOST: Was there a plot to kill Britain's Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed? Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, believes there was, and that secret U.S. documents could prove it. He's filed a lawsuit against the CIA and other U.S. agencies to gain access to those documents. Fayed believes the two were deliberately killed three years ago to prevent them from marrying.


MACNAMARA: "It is clear to me that evil and racist forces working through the British security services murdered my son and Princess Diana."


BATTISTA: Is there a cover-up, or is a grieving Al Fayed grasping at the straws of conspiracy?

Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to TALKBACK LIVE.

Well, the case has been closed for nearly a year. A French judge concluded that driver Henri Paul was drunk and responsible for the auto accident that killed Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed, but now Al Fayed's father is determined to prove otherwise.

Here to talk with us about it first today, Mark Zaid, an attorney representing Mohamed Al Fayed, and John Macnamara, director of security for Harrods Limited, the London company owned by Al Fayed.

Welcome, gentlemen, to both of you.


Thank you. BATTISTA: Mr. Zaid, let me start with you, because you are alleging in this lawsuit that Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed were murdered by, I think, it was "evil and racist forces." By whom?

ZAID: No, I have to...


ZAID: Well, I have to clarify that, because we don't allege that. That was Mr. Al Fayed's statement that was read at the press conference, that is his own personal conviction.

BATTISTA: Is it not yours?

ZAID: The lawsuit -- it's my objective, my work and effort is to obtain documents from the U.S. government. The lawsuit makes no allegations one way or the other, it doesn't say it was an accident, it doesn't say that it was a conspiracy. All we seek are copies of the documents, the audio tapes that the NSA picked up of, and monitored of Princess Diana so that we can review this information and allow not only Mr. Al Fayed, but the general public to reach its own conclusion.

BATTISTA: How do you know these documents exist?

ZAID: Well, for one, we know because the government has, in fact, told me. I know the FBI has documents, I know the CIA has documents, the NSA, the Defense Intelligence Agency. We know from other investigators like Gerald Posner, I'm sure who has been on the program before, that the NSA was tape recording Princess Diana, that, in fact, the American intelligence government -- I don't know which agency, but one of our agencies had evidence that Henri Paul, the chauffeur was, in fact, meeting with French security services at a time when even the French investigating judge has never been able to determine Henri Paul's whereabouts.

BATTISTA: So why would the CIA be taping conversations with Princess Diana, for one thing?

ZAID: Well, the NSA -- the National Security Agency.

BATTISTA: I mean, the NSA.

ZAID: Well, that's a very good question. We know the tapes exist -- I mean, that the government will not admit, but Mr. Posner was played the tapes by someone from within the government, and it is a known fact -- I mean, that's what the NSA does, they monitor international telephone conversations. It's against the law for them to monitor Americans, but it's not against the law to monitor foreigners, and there is many allegations in the press right now and everywhere that there's a project called Echelon in which the British government and the American government literally spy on one another's citizens and then transfer the information.

BATTISTA: Let me get -- let me do this quickly, because there has been some reaction from the CIA. They do deny any knowledge of a plot to kill the couple. CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield says -- and we're quoting now -- "We understand that Mr. Al Fayed's grief and tremendous loss -- a sense of loss, but any suggestion that the CIA spied on Dodi Fayed or Princess Diana, has knowledge of any plot to murder them, or had anything to do with this tragic accident is totally unfounded."

ZAID: Well, we certainly appreciate the CIA's sincerity and indication of grief in that. It's appreciated. I mean, for one thing we never have nor will we allege that the CIA was involved or spied on any of these people. But what we do know is there was a plot to defraud Mr. Al Fayed by a group of Americans, one of whom is now imprisoned in Austria, to sell him fake CIA documents that alleged a plot exists.

And what we want to know is what did the CIA do about investigating that plot by which, in fact, the individual imprisoned, Oswald Le Winter in Austria has alleged for year that he is CIA, and my sources within the intelligence community tells me that Oswald Le Winter did, in fact, have a relationship with the CIA. That's not to say the CIA had anything to do with Princess Diana's death, but that an individual associated with trying to obtain money on Al Fayed's grief did have a relationship, and that is worthy of investigation.

BATTISTA: Mr. Macnamara, let me ask you then, what evidence do you have that Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed were murdered by this "evil and racist force" that you say worked through British intelligence?

MACNAMARA: We don't have that evidence and we've never ever suggested that we do have the evidence. What we don't have is important. We don't have the answers to the questions that have been asked repeatedly both of the French authorities, the British authorities and the American authorities. Mr. Al Fayed -- let me emphasize this -- Mr. Al Fayed wants to know how his son and his very dear friend, the Princess of Wales died. That's what he wants to discover. He cannot rest until he knows the truth, and all the time these questions remain unanswered it strengthens his...

BATTISTA: Why -- forgive me for interrupting, but why does he have such a hard time believing that it could have been just a car accident caused by drunk driving?

MACNAMARA: Well, I don't know if you heard the interview we had this morning at the press conference, but quite simply let me take you back to the day after the crash. In fact, within 36 hours it was proclaimed that Henri Paul was as drunk as a pig, three times over the drink-drive limit, driving at 192 kilometers, 120 miles an hour. Now, that was a statement that was categorically put out in the French and British press. We now know -- in fact, we knew within hours that the speedometer in the Mercedes reverts to zero on impact, so their allegation that it was stuck at 192 kilometers an hour was false -- it was a deliberate false statement.

We then go on to the blood samples of Henri Paul. I knew Henri Paul for 10 years. I knew him as a very kind, considerate person, certainly not as a drinker. When this information came out on that Monday morning that Henri Paul was drunk, the first person I saw was Kez Wingfield, he was the second bodyguard in the decoy car, and he'd been with Henri Paul for two and a half hours before they actually drove off, between 10:00 p.m. and quarter past midnight he was with him with Trevor Rees-Jones, and he swore to me then and he swears to me today that he was not drunk, he had not been drinking. Now, here are two eyewitnesses as to his behavior, they'd been with him...

BATTISTA: But I thought other people had testified that he was drinking in the bar that night?

MACNAMARA: Yes. We discovered that, not other people. We discovered the evidence that during that two and a half hour period he had two Aniceps (ph), which were topped up with water, it's a French drink. That didn't make him drunken three times over the drink-drive limit, or as drunk as a pig, as they say. He was there for two and a half hours -- you've seen the video footage, he was walking normally, talking normally.

I've got to emphasize that these bodyguards, Wingfield and Rees- Jones had been with Henri Paul all day. Henri Paul had been driving the back-up car from the Bourget Airport through to The Ritz during the afternoon, and his behavior, demeanor, speech was no different during that period than it was during the day. Then we come on to the blood sample, because of our doubts about this we took to Paris a leading forensic professor from Glasgow University, Professor Peter Vanessis (ph), he on behalf of Henri Paul's parents, asked quite -- I think quite reasonably for a chance to conduct a second postmortem -- my microphone is gone. The -- that was refused.

BATTISTA: Can you -- are -- can you hear me OK?

MACNAMARA: Sorry, I was having some difficulty, but never mind.


MACNAMARA: That was refused.

BATTISTA: Let me have you hold -- you know what? Let me have you hold right there because we do have a whole hour, and I want to get into all of this.

But I do quickly want to bring in Martyn Gregory, who is the author of "The Diana Conspiracy Exposed: The Definitive Account of the Last Days and Death of Diana, Princess of Wales."

Mr. Gregory, I know you looked into the crash and the ensuing investigation rather exhaustively. What do you think is going on here? Why do you think this suit was filed?

MARTYN GREGORY, "THE DIANA CONSPIRACY EXPOSED": Well, this suit is the latest step by the Fayed camp, including Mr. Macnamara, who you've just interviewing, in trying to deflect blame away from their own organization and toward MI-6, CIA, you name it, anybody but the Fayed family itself. There's only one reason why Princess Diana is dead, and that is because of the decisions made by Mohamed Fayed and his son, Dodi, in the hour before she left the Ritz. They allowed Henri Paul, who as it turned out was drunk -- nobody knew that at the time -- but unqualified to drive the Mercedes, to go out of the back door with only one bodyguard, and he drove them to their deaths. Now that is the Fayed's share of the blame.

Unfortunately, for us here in America and around the world, Mr. Fayed is unable to come to the terms with the decision that he made that very tragically killed his son and the Princess of Wales, and that is why he has been engaged in a three-year campaign to try to invalidate the French investigation and put people like Mark Zaid, who we heard from earlier, and also John Macnamara, to question what is now established, and which of course I report about in my book. The reason I'm in New York today is promote the book. I didn't know that Mr. Fayed's people would make an exhibition of themselves in Washington this morning. That's pure coincidence.

BATTISTA: I have to take a quick commercial break here, and then we'll continue to pursue this. As we do, please take part in our TALKBACK LIVE online viewer vote. Today's question: The car crash that killed Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed, was it an accident or was it murder? We'll be right back.


BATTISTA: Before we continue here, let me bring in CNN's national security correspondent David Ensor, who's been look into the CIA's response from this.

David, what is the latest from the agency?

DAVID ENSOR, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Bobbie, you read the statement by spokesman Mark Mansfield, where he said that the agency understand Mr. Al Fayed's grief and tremendous sense of loss, but has no knowledge of any plot and had nothing to do with the accident. But beyond that, when you talk to U.S. officials who are knowledgeable about the documents that are being talked about here, officials do confirm that, for example, the National Security Agency. which is eavesdropping arms of U.S. intelligence, does have over 1,000 pages of material that relates to the subject of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed, which they are declining to make public.

What a knowledgeable official says is that the transcripts contribute, as he put it, nothing whatsoever to knowledge about the tragic deaths. And officials say that to release the document would reveal sources and methods of intelligence collection which are carefully guarded. What they are saying is that these are transcripts of conversations that were being eavesdropped by the NSA around the world, around the time of the princess's death. This is a major topic in the news at the time, people were talking about it. There's nothing, say these officials, that would provide any insights to anyone about the deaths.

BATTISTA: So what they're saying is that the National Security Agency, or whatever arm it was, that was eavesdropping, were they eavesdropping directly on the princess and, like, prior to her death?

ENSOR: I'm told by at least one official they were not eavesdropping to princess, that the documents that are in question are transcripts of eavesdropping on other people, people who have nothing to do with this, but who in the course of conversations talked about this.

BATTISTA: Martyn, did you want the get in there briefly? I'm sorry.

ZAID: Mark or Martyn?


GREGORY: Hi. Yes, I wasn't actually trying to say anything there, but I would say that I'm not surprised by what David has just said. The idea of linking these transcripts, such as they might be, to the deaths of Diana and Dodi I fear is fantasy, in fact, I'm pretty certain it's fantasy. by asking for documents that he knows he can't get, then Mr. Fayed's people can keep this thing going for years.

ZAID: I don't know of any such thing. I litigate against the national security agencies all the time, CIA, NSA, you name it. And very often, I obtain documents from those agencies which often they claimed were national-security exempt and turn out not to be once enough pressure is put on them.

BATTISTA: Is this the first time you've gone after these particularly documents, Mark?

ZAID: It's the first time I have. There were efforts made before me through a different legal mechanism that failed for unrelated reasons.

And, again, this action does not allege anything. We have not alleged that the NSA links these documents to the princess' death. All we say is we're entitled by law to the documents, and then if it's innocuous, then obviously, that opinion or that information will be weighed.

What I would like to know from the CIA, in fact, there were CIA officials, and FBI officials and lawyers from the U.S. attorney's office that participated in a so-called investigation of a fraud to sell what turned out to be fake CIA documents. To say that the CIA knows nothing about this involvement, that is ludicrous.

BATTISTA: David, let me ask you, how is it decided which documents fall under the Freedom of Information Act and which don't?

ENSOR: Well, I guess probably Mark knows better than I do. But the main question is whether or not the documents would reveal sources and methods. Those are the holy of holy's for the intelligence community. They don't want the reveal how they go about collecting information, because that would make it harder to collect in the future.

BATTISTA: But what I'm saying is that they could say that about any document that they have. So eventually, who's going to make the decision as to whether or not it would reveal those things or, you know, whether -- you see what I'm saying?

ENSOR: Well, ultimately it goes pretty high up the chain of command. It can reach to the director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet. It can even go to the White House. But it's not a decision that can be made -- I mean, the government makes its own decisions, you know. You can appeal it and go to court. And in some cases, a judge will be allowed to look at the information and make a separate judgment.

BATTISTA: OK. David Ensor, thanks very much. Appreciate your input into this.

Mr. Macnamara, let me ask you: Are there any other official outstanding investigations into this accident, or was the whole case close a year ago when the French judge ruled it was a drunk-driving accident?

MACNAMARA: Just let me address very briefly Martyn Gregory's point. I have read his book. It does nothing for me. Martyn Gregory is not an expert in this matter. He has written a book with an opinion in which he continuously attacks Mr. Al Fayed. It's well- known and it comes as no surprise.

Unfortunately, we've never been allowed to conduct inquiries in France. It would be illegal to do so. And I would suggest that Mr. Gregory is probably in the same position. What happened, as far as the report is concerned, is that the judge compiled that report. It consists of, we believe, of something like 10,000 pages. But because there was no prosecution of the paparazzi, none of that report was ever published.

So all of the questions that we have legitimately asked throughout this whole episode, nothing has ever been answered. Whether it is on the judge's file, I don't know. And I doubt whether Mr. Gregory knows.


MACNAMARA: We have not seen the judge's report.

BATTISTA: Are we assume then that the French government, or the French judicial system, intelligence -- whatever -- was also involved in this conspiracy?

MACNAMARA: No, I'm not talking about people involved in a conspiracy. I keep emphasizing that if there are things that can satisfy Mr. Al Fayed as to the cause of what happened on the 31st of August, he would like to know. Now, the Americans say that there are 1,054 pages relating to Diana, Princess of Wales, but they will not reveal them. Our lawyers have spoken to people high up in the Pentagon.

And they: Well, we have reviewed, but we don't believe it has anything to do deal with the crash. It may not deal with the night of the crash. It may be events leading up with that. We don't know. We simply want to be satisfied what is there, what is in the French file, what the involvement was of the security services.

BATTISTA: All right.

I got to take another quick break. We will be back in just a moment.


BATTISTA: Harrods and the British royal family ended an 87-year relationship last month when the department store announced it will not seek to renew its royal warrant with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles. Warrants are five-year contracts to supply the royal family with goods. One of the earliest warrants went to Thomas Hewytt to supply King Henry VIII with "swannes and cranes and all kinds of wildfowl."

Let me quickly take a phone call from Marlene in Ontario.

Marlene, go ahead.

MARLENE: Yes, I do not believe there has been a cover-up in this accident. And I say let them rest in peace. And why dredge this up again. It could only upset Prince William and Prince Harry.

BATTISTA: Well, I guess, you know, we sympathetically could say the same thing about Mohamed Al Fayed, who is the father of another person who was also killed in that accident -- and his feelings about this.

But let me ask Mr. Macnamara: If we are to -- let's hypothetically assume that they did not die accidentally. If there was some sort of plot, or whatever, what -- why would they have been assassinated?

MACNAMARA: You are asking me a question there to comment on hypothesis. I cannot do that.

BATTISTA: Let me rephrase it then. Why -- what does Mr. Al Fayed think the reason is?

MACNAMARA: His view is quite clear. I don't happen to necessarily share his views. I simply try to come up with the facts after investigation and let him form his own opinion. His view, he's made quite clear, is that if they were to be married, it would not be tolerated for the future stepfather of the future king of England to be a Muslim and Egyptian. That's his view.

BATTISTA: Let me ask Mr. Gregory then: Was there that much evidence what they were planning to marry?

GREGORY: Oh, quite the reverse: There was no evidence at all that they were planning to marry. I don't think, being fair about this, that there's any doubt that Dodi Fayed would have liked to marry Diana. And indeed, Mohamed Fayed would have liked his son to marry Diana. But there is no evidence that they were planning to marry, even less evidence that Diana was pregnant. She categorically was not pregnant.

Her doctor felt forced to come out about a year ago, to say that she had seen and treated her for premenstrual tension 10 days before she died, and that she certainly was not pregnant then. And all of these myths that have spun over the last few years have all contributed towards the sort of conspiracy theorizing that Mohamed Fayed is going in for.

Mr. Macnamara just then was distancing himself, his own feelings, from Mr. Mohamed Fayed. And I noticed that Mark did the same when he was making his contribution. The point is that Mohamed Fayed has a great deal of money and can he pay people like Mr. Macnamara, and indeed Mark Zaid, to say these things to keep the story going, to keep the blame heading away from the House of Fayed.

There's no doubt that two people made the decisions that killed Princess Diana. They were Dodi Fayed, who tragically died himself, and also Mohamed Fayed, who was on the phone to him from London. They allowed Henri Paul to drive that car. Had they not done so, Princess Diana would be alive today. And the man heading the security operation on that day is sitting in your studio, Mr. Macnamara.

They've all got very strong motives to make us talk about anything other than their own responsibility.

BATTISTA: We had Trevor Rees-Jones on this program about six months ago, and he echoed similar thoughts, Mr. Macnamara that -- about this particular relationship and about the events that transpired -- what he can remember from the night before the accident. Did you speak with him also?

MACNAMARA: Trevor Rees-Jones of course was unable to speak for some time. Martyn Gregory remark that I'm being paid to say this is quite monstrous, but something I would expect from Martyn Gregory. Nevertheless, let's just put this right about whether or not they intended to get married.

There's a jeweler by the name of Repossi who has come out and made a statement, a public statement, that Dodi and Diana chose a ring in Monte Carlo before they actually collected the ring in Paris, that Dodi collected this engagement ring on the Sunday evening. And although Trevor Rees-Jones in his book said that there was no intention to marry, Trevor Rees-Jones was the one who was with Dodi in Paris, in the Place Van Dame (ph), when he collected that ring from Repossi jeweler, and went back to the Ritz Hotel with it. So it's very easy for people to say there was nothing in this. The evidence doesn't point that way.

BATTISTA: Do we know for sure, though? I mean, in other words, perhaps Dodi was planning on asking her to marry him, but we don't know whether or not she would have accepted. Trevor Rees-Jones indicated that she would not have.

MACNAMARA: This is the same sort of perhaps that Martyn Gregory seems to put forward as fact. We don't know.


GREGORY: I think what you have to do is to try the get the best sources on this. And of course, Trevor Rees-Jones himself was there. Yes, he did collect a ring on the Saturday night with Dodi Fayed, but at no stage was it presented to Diana, and indeed it was found in the Fayed apartment afterwards, so it was never presented to Diana. So how Mohamed Fayed can say that the two were engaged is really beyond me. It defies the evidence. And Mr. Macnamara was talking then about the bodyguards. And the two bodyguards who were looking after Princess Diana on the night she died have both now left Mohamed Al Fayed's employ because they won't go along with all this conspiracy theorizing and propagandizing that Mr. Macnamara is here to do today.

ZAID: Bobbie, let me please jump in on that. I mean, Mr. Gregory just made a point that I want to follow through on. He just said, let's turn to one of the key eyewitnesses for credible information, and he turned to Trevor Rees-Jones. Well, Trevor Rees- Jones has continually said that Henri Paul was not drunk. So How then do we deal with that> I love when we deal with conspiracy theories that we look to one witness for what we want, and then when they say something we don't like, we ignore them.

GREGORY: Well, that's possibly what lawyers do, but journalists, at least from my point of view, I can't do that. Let's talk about this blood sample that Mr. Macnamara was talking about earlier. The French judge personally supervised a second set of blood samples immediately after the first set.

ZAID: By the same people, the same doctors.

GREGORY: Of course, because they are the officials who do every single autopsy in France or in Paris, in this particular district, but he personally went along with a video camera, with a still camera, and he recorded every single moment. So there weren't just one blood test.

ZAID: And you've seen this?

GREGORY: Sorry? Of course I haven't seen it, because I'm not the judge. I'm just telling what you the French have done.

ZAID: Oh, well, then how do you know what it says?

BATTISTA: Well, then, Mark, are you going after the French judge, too, for this information?

ZAID: I wish I could. Of course I can't. I don't know what the laws are in France about obtaining information. It was a criminal investigation, and the matter was closed.

GREGORY: This information was revealed and reported a year ago.

BATTISTA: I'm sorry, I've got to take another break. We'll be back in just a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BATTISTA: Couple of e-mails that have come in. Beth in Louisiana says, "I wish everyone would let these people rest in peace. Princess Diana was hounded by the press while she was alive. Leave her alone in death. I know Mr. Al Fayed misses his son. It is time to except Dodi is gone and move on."

David in Arizona says, "This situation could be another JFK-type conspiracy. We'll never know the truth. My condolences to Mr. Al Fayed, his family, and Princess Di's children." This was no accident, in David's opinion.

BATTISTA: Mark, how long do you think it will take you to pursue this?

ZAID: Unfortunately, this type of process is not a quick one. Although we are attempting to move for expedited processing, and I except the judge will rule on that fairly soon, within the coming weeks. But typically, a case under FOIA -- Freedom of Information Act -- will take literally years, and I would hope that we would have at least a significant decision to know one way or the other about most of the documents probably in a year. It could be that long.

BATTISTA: What happened if you don't get the information that you're looking for? What if the courts rule against you, where do you go from there?

ZAID: Well, of course, it would depend on what the reasoning was and whether or not we wanted to challenge it. But if we did, we do have the route to go to the court of appeals. The case will be filed here in Washington, in the federal district court. We could go up to the U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit. And theoretically, we could even go up the Supreme Court if we chose. It would all depend on, obviously, what the judge's reasonings were.

I should say the burden is on the government to prove that these documents need to be withheld, not the are other way around. And in doing so, the government has to demonstrate its burden, meaning it will actually have to spell out why the release of such information would compromise national security, or law enforcement investigations or anything along that line.

BATTISTA: That's kind a catch 22 for them, though, isn't it, I mean, for them to have to reveal that in court proceedings.

ZAID: Some of the documents, for instance, the CIA will neither confirm nor deny one way or the other whether it has documents. That's something that we have to deal with. Other documents, if they acknowledge the existence, then they do have to indicate to a level acceptable to the court, not to just us as the plaintiff, but to the court, that enough information has been put out there for the court to determine whether or not the documents should be withheld, and the court, in fact, can review the documents in camera, meaning take the documents into the judge's chambers and look at him or herself and make a determination.

BATTISTA: The audience has been listening very intently here for the last 40 minutes. Let me go to them quickly.

Adam, do you have a question or comment?

ADAM: Yes, I just -- I can't understand why the experts are disregarding the fact that he has been under such -- Mr. Al Fayed -- that he has been under such emotional distress, and he is really yearning to find a bigger reason than just the accident for the death of his son, and it's really time to move on.

BATTISTA: Mr. Macnamara, how much does that come into play here, Mr. Al Fayed's state of mind?

MACNAMARA: Mr. Al Fayed's state of mind. I always say that he -- he deeply grieves for the loss of his son.

Let me just come back to something that -- said by Martyn Gregory. He personalizes this with Mr. Al Fayed. He's promoting a book; I can understand that.

But Mr. Al Fayed has said from day one that if he believed that Henri Paul was drunk and caused the death of those two people, he would condemn it forever. He does not believe it that, and the reason he doesn't believe it is the forensic evidence speaks against it.

Let me just come back to the point that Martyn Gregory made about the judge supervising a second post-mortem. What they can't get over is their own report, not our report. Their forensic report said that Henri Paul had 20.7 percent carbon monoxide in his blood at time of post-mortem, which means something in the region of 30 percent carbon monoxide at the time of the crash.

Now if that's right, he would not be able to walk, let alone drive a car.

Now, we challenged these findings, and they were put back to the very people who found them, Madame Dominique Lacomte, the French forensic pathologist.

Their excuse was that this carbon monoxide came from the air bag, which exploded on impact. That's fatally flawed. These are points that Gregory does not cover.

BATTISTA: Let me...

MACNAMARA: Sorry. Let me finish. This is an important point.

Mercedes has said that the air bags do not contain carbon monoxide. The forensic pathologists say that Henri Paul did not draw breath: His spinal cord was severed, his heart was ruptured.

We have examined the DNA samples from Dodi Al Fayed's body. It does not contain carbon monoxide.

So we question, the legitimately question, how could this be the blood of Henri Paul that demonstrates he was so much over the alcohol limit. These are things that are not being addressed, and Mr. Al Fayed needs to know.

BATTISTA: Let me...


Let me have Martyn address that.

GREGORY: Let me just say one quick thing, and then I'll absolutely let Mr. Gregory talk on this.

ZAID: Listen, I represent dozens of family members of the Pan Am 103 bombing in a lawsuit against Libya. Obviously, right now, there's a case, a criminal case, against these alleged Libyan perpetrators. I can tell you these family members are so grief-stricken, no matter what answer they get, if these people are convicted or acquitted, they will still be driven by their emotion to continue on to get their own peaceful resolve in their heart.

And Mr. Al Fayed is just doing the same thing.

BATTISTA: It may be elusive, but let me have Martyn address...

GREGORY: Yes, sure. Well, thank you very much, Bobbie.

The point is about the autopsy, there were two sets of blood samples done, and in fact, I've got the second set, which the judge did, in front of me here. And they showed exactly the same as the first set, and that was that Henri Paul had 1.75 grams per liter of alcohol per liter of blood. Now, the other one said 1.73.

So there were two separate tests made, and the second one...

MACNAMARA: And did they show 20.7 percent carbon monoxide, Mr. Gregory.

GREGORY: Well, hold on. Now, we're moving onto carbon monoxide. There were two samples made of carbon monoxide. One said 20.7; the other said 12.6.

MACNAMARA: Because it decreases over time. You know that time.

GREGORY: Now, for a heavy -- please don't interrupt. Yes, of course I know that.

I spoke to doctors who are familiar with analyzing these things, and if you take away 10 percent and halve the difference, you get a level of approximately 6 percent, which is negligible. That is why the French investigation, who of course know all of this, disregarded it and said that it had nothing to do with the crash.

BATTISTA: I'm pushing the break here. I'm sorry. We'll continue this in just a moment.


BATTISTA: Mohamed Al Fayed has sponsored the annual Royal Windsor Horse Show, where he shared the royal box with the queen. His younger brother, Ali, owns Turnbull & Asser, the prestigious tailor used by Prince Charles, and his sons, William and Harry. Diana's stepmother Raine is on the board of Harrods.

Let me go to the audience quickly. And was it Kathy (ph) who had a question? Go ahead, Kathy.

KATHY: I have a question. How does the Freedom of Information Act pertain to non-U.S. citizens and why does Mr. Al Fayed have to sue the U.S. government?

ZAID: Very good questions. The Freedom of Information Act applies to everyone actually. Anyone in the -- anyone in the world actually can file a Freedom of Information Act request. The identity of the person doesn't matter. And of course, U.S. government agencies collect information on Americans, non-Americans depending on the profession and the business of that particular federal agencies.

By law, when you file a FOIA request, the government has 20 working days to respond. It can't. It never does. It doesn't have the resources; it doesn't have the funding.

The problem is, if we allowed the agencies to respond as they would in their due process -- for the CIA, for example -- yesterday, I received a response from the CIA to a FOIA request I submitted in 1993, seven years ago. It took them that long to tell me there were no documents that they had in their possession.

The unfortunateness is the system is somewhat broken because of funding, and the only way to get documents out of the U.S. government -- unless you want to wait seven, 10, 15 years -- is to file a lawsuit.

BATTISTA: You have your work cut out for you.

ZAID: It's enjoyable.

BATTISTA: I have to take another break here. It's a short segment since I pushed the other one so long. So we'll be back in just a moment.


BATTISTA: A quick look at our TALKBACK LIVE online viewer vote. Today was the question "Was the crash that killed Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed an accident or a murder?" We started out, 71 percent said accident. I think it was 29 murder. And it has changed to 59 percent an accident and 41 percent a murder.

Quickly, Dan, has a fast question.

DAN: I was just wondering why they would want the documents from the United States government if it's all third-party information. Doesn't that just spread to more rumors and more hearsay? And why not go after the direct source, the French judge, and find out exactly how to do that? BATTISTA: Mark.

ZAID: It's an excellent question. You remember, this was a French criminal investigation. It's just like here in the United States: We would not be able to get access to grand jury information, even if the grand jury failed to indict the person.

We do know the U.S. government has information relating to events and individuals associated with the tragedy. For example, again, this fraud that was attempted, the government has information about the fraud. We'd like to know more about that.

The government has information about Mohamed Al Fayed. We'd like to know what that says.

BATTISTA: Mark Zaid and John Macnamara, Martyn Gregory, thank you all very much for joining us today.

ZAID: Thank you.

BATTISTA: Imagine, we might be talking about this again.

We are totally out of time. We'll see you again tomorrow for more TALKBACK LIVE.



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