Diana's Death Was Gross Negligence Of Both Driver And Paparazzi
Late British royal DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES died as a result of the gross negligence of driver HENRI PAUL and the paparazzi, a London jury has decided.
The Princess and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed were killed in a Paris, France car crash in 1997.
The inquest aimed to establish whether Diana and Dodi were the victims of an accident, or if they were the targets of an assassination plot headed by the British royal family - as claimed by tycoon, and Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed.
But the six-month inquest came to a close on Monday (07Apr08) after three-and-a-half days of deliberations.
Nine of the 11 jurors were in agreement with the final verdict of unlawful killing, which blamed chauffeur Paul for driving with impaired judgement while under the influence of alcohol on the fateful night of 31 August, 1997. They also agreed the paparazzi played a part in their deaths by recklessly pursuing them in a high speed chase that led to the crash.
London's High Court heard how the crash in the Alma Tunnel was caused by the speed and the manner of which the Princess' Mercedes was being driven.
The jury ruled that both Diana and Fayed died because they were not wearing seatbelts when the black Mercedes hit a pillar in the tunnel.
Paul, who was not wearing a seatbelt either, also perished in the tragic crash.
The jury had been given five verdict options by coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker last week (ends04Apr08), including: unlawful killing by grossly negligent driving of the paparazzi in the following vehicles; unlawful killing through the gross negligence of the driver Henri Paul; and unlawful killing by the grossly negligent driving of both the following vehicles and Paul.
The members of the jury were also given the choices of accidental death or an open verdict if they felt there was insufficient evidence to reach a majority conclusion.
However, the jury were not allowed to rule the couple's death as a murder, after Lord Baker claimed there was "no evidence" to support Al Fayed's claims.