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Al fayed urges death inquiry { October 21 2003 }

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Al Fayed urges Diana death crash inquiry
Tue 21 October, 2003 12:11 BST

By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) - Mohamed al Fayed, whose son Dodi died in a car crash with Princess Diana, is urging Prime Minister Tony Blair to launch a full inquiry, after a secret letter showed Diana had predicted her own death.

Fayed, who owns the exclusive London store Harrods, said the letter -- revealed on Monday by Diana's former butler Paul Burrell -- echoed what the former wife of Prince Charles had told him about fears for her life.

"The publication by Paul Burrell of a letter written to him by Diana...confirms the suspicions I have so often voiced...and which have thus far been ignored," Fayed said in a statement on Tuesday.

"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.

Fayed has repeatedly claimed that Diana and his son were murdered by British secret services because their relationship was embarrassing to the royal household.

Diana died alongside her lover Dodi and their chauffeur Henri Paul when their Mercedes car crashed in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997 as it sped away from the Ritz hotel.

In a letter which Burrell says she wrote in October 1996 and gave him for safekeeping, Diana says someone was planning to kill her in a car crash.

The person or organisation she mentioned in the letter as planning to kill her cannot be named for legal reasons.

"This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous," the letter says. "(DELETED WORD/S) is planning 'an accident' in my car, brake failure and serious head injury in order to make the path clear for Charles to marry."

Burrell, whose book 'A Royal Duty' is due to be published shortly, claims that before sealing the letter in an envelope marked "Paul", Diana told him: "I am going to date this and I want you to keep it...just in case."

Fayed has repeatedly called for a British inquiry into the deaths, but said his pleas to Blair "fell on deaf ears".

A British government spokesman told Reuters on Tuesday: "There are no plans for a public inquiry in this case."

An inquiry by French authorities in 1999 ruled the crash was an accident caused by Paul being drunk and driving too fast.

Paris authorities say there are no plans to reopen the case there. "The Diana dossier is definitely closed," a source said.

The British coroner charged with investigating the death has promised there will be an inquest in Britain, but has so far declined to set a date.

Fayed said Diana's letter confirmed fears she had expressed before her death.

"On several occasions Diana told me of the threats she had received and of her fears for her own life," he said.

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