The Diana And Dodi Inquest Is Under Way
Oct 3, 2007 by Brad Horowitz
The princess and Mr. Al Fayed died in a car crash in the Pont d'Alma tunnel, in Paris, on 31 August 1997.
A jury of six women and five men has been selected for the hearing which could possibly last six months and the jurors were chosen by ballot from a shortlist of twenty five.
For security reasons, the jurors will be escorted to and from court by police for the duration of the hearing.
When he arrived at the High Court, Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, said he wanted justice for his dead son.
"I'm hoping for justice, I'm a father who lost his son. I have been fighting for 10 years, at last I want to have justice”, and then added that he remained convinced that the princess and his son were "murdered".
Speaking earlier, a spokesman for Mr. Al Fayed called for members of the Royal Family to give evidence at the hearing.
Michael Cole told GMTV this is the "last best chance to get at the plain untarnished truth. At stages in her life the only person Diana could talk to in confidence in the Royal Family was the Queen. She has an unrivalled knowledge of the princess's state of mind”.
Last Thursday, around 227 possible candidates for jury service were summoned by letter from London's Royal Courts of Justice but only 80 arrived and the 80 were handed a list of ten questions ordering them to reveal any connections to the Royal Family, Mohamed Al Fayed or the security services.
The final panel of eleven jurors was selected on Tuesday following a ballot of the potential twenty five and their names were read out by a court official.
During last week's proceedings Lord Justice Scott Baker said the deaths of Princess Diana and Mr. Al Fayed had "created worldwide interest on an unprecedented scale. Millions of words have been spoken and written. There are numerous books, television programs and articles that have been published, some by those who are closely involved in surrounding events and some not”.
He added that the jurors would be “required to come to a decision based only on court evidence. If there are any articles in the newspapers, do not read them, and if there are any television programs about the death of Diana or any news items about these inquests, you should not look at them”, he told the 80 candidates.
During the second week of the hearing the jury will be flown to Paris to retrace Diana's final journey.