Diana and 'oily bedhopper' were seen .......

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Diana and 'oily bedhopper' were seen .......

Postby bjr » Thu Jan 17, 2008 2:17 am

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 200770.ece

Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Fayed family must have appeared to the British Establishment to be an alliance made in Hell, it was suggested at her inquest yesterday.

Not only was the mother of a future king conducting a high-profile campaign against the manufacture and use of landmines – many supplied by the British defence industry – but she was having an affair with an "oily bedhopper", the Muslim son of a businessman with a tarnished reputation who had been refused a British passport.

Michael Mansfield, QC, cross-exam-ining Paul Burrell, the Princess's former butler, attempted to paint a picture of a member of the Royal Family becoming a thorn in the side of British vested interests. She was having an affair with a Muslim; she had just been on a landmine visit to Bosnia; there was a new Government in power; and Britain had not yet signed up to the Ottawa accord banning the making and use of landmines.

Mr Mansfield represents Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi was also killed and who believes that the Princess's death was engineered by British intelligence services in a plot master-minded by the Duke of Edinburgh. Mr Al Fayed sat through yesterday's hearing with a particularly stony face. His legal team have gone to considerable lengths to discredit Mr Burrell. But Mr Burrell stuck to his view that her relationship with Dodi had peaked by the time they died in August 1997, and that she never planned to marry him.

Worldwide media coverage of the Princess's last holiday on board the Fayed yacht Jonikal just before her death was intended to show that she was an independent woman. That must have worried the Establishment, which already saw her as a loose cannon, Mr Mansfield suggested.

Mr Burrell said that the Princess was sending a message to Hasnat Khan, the Pakistani heart surgeon, who had ended a relationship with her because he could not face the publicity. "I knew she would not get engaged to Dodi," Mr Burrell said. He said that the Princess had been infatuated with her new lover. "It was a very fast-mov-ing relationship and it had a very short fuse, whereas the relationship before was a very long relationship."

The phrase "oily bedhopper", quoted by Mr Mansfield, was allegedly coined by the Duke to describe Dodi. "I don't think these are his words," Mr Burrell said. "He's a decent man." He was finally released from the witness box, promising to look for a key letter among his possessions in America.

The hearing continues.
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