Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

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Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

Postby bjr » Thu Jan 17, 2008 6:34 pm

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/b ... 206114.ece


Why are we paying for this costly spectacle? As the evidence plays out in the broadcast bulletins and newspapers, some commentators have even labelled the inquest into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed a farce ' a "world of fantasy and speculation" and "a parade of spivs and charlatans that diminishes us all".

Why, people are asking, must we have this inquest at all ' why now, ten years after the couple's death in a car crash in Paris and why is it being given such free rein?

It is a fair question. The latest cost estimates, from June to the end of November, were £1.3 million; with the inquest unlikely to conclude before Easter, costs are certain to be double, if not treble, that figure.

But almost from the moment of the crash, some kind of full-scale public inquiry was inevitable given the profile of the couple and the immediate allegations of conspiracy prompted by the suddennes and manner of their deaths.

By law, as a result of the case of Helen Smith, the British nurse who died in 1983 in Saudi Arabia, an inquest had to be held. If a body is brought into a coroner's jurisdiction from abroad where the death was one that would normally warrant an inquest, he or she must hold an investigation.

Despite intensive lobbying by coroners over several years, that remains the law. But the inquest into the deaths of the Princess and Dodi could not proceed until the police investigations ' in this case two of them, the exhaustive inquiries by both the French and English police, and again, given the nature of the allegations, no stone could be left unturned.

That brings us to now. The inquest was intended to be different from the police inquiries. While those looked at whether any crime had been committed, the inquest was simply to answer how, when and where the cause of death arose. It is perhaps naive, though, to believe that this quest could ever have been a simple one when the questions are irrevocably bound with the allegations from the Fayed family.

So, arguably, Lord Justice Scott Baker had little option in defining a list of 21 far-reaching and personal issues that have set the path for what has followed: issues not just as to whether Henri Paul, the chauffeur,was drunk or whether any bright lights caused the collision, but whether the Princess was pregnant and whether she feared for her life.

And instead of being a hearing that coroners estimated would last four to six weeks, it will run to several months. Far from being a more defined inquiry than the police investigations, it is far wider. One coroner remarked: "People do feel that the scope could have been far more constrained, although whether he \ could have got away with that under challenge is another matter."

In no time at all, the weapon of judicial review had reared its head. When Michael Burgess, the Surrey coroner, handed over the case through pressure of work, in came Lady Elizabeth Butler Sloss. She had already been forced to change her decision to hold the preliminary hearings in private. Then her decision to sit without a jury was challenged in the courts. One coroner said: "She must have been unsettled by that ruling against her. It really pulled the rug from under her feet, to have senior colleagues ruling against her ' in effect saying, you're on your own, matey. And suddenly she realised that life in the coroner's court could be quite cold."

Pleading inexperience with the jury system, Lady Elizabeth stepped down and the baton was passed to Lord Justice Scott Baker. But the ground has been weakened. Similarly, he put forward a reasoned case on the admissibility of paper evidence from witnesses from Paris (the paparazzi) who could not be compelled to attend, and was overruled. "He has been bloodied; a decision he'd made, quite logically, as a senior appeal judge, was then not accepted by the appeal court," one observer said. "He has broad shoulders but he has been floored . . . it's really a no-win situation for him."

As with his predecessor, the danger is that he will become more cautious, more concerned that any decision not to the liking of one party or another will mean lawyers heading off again to the Court of Appeal ' and trim accordingly. There is no sign of it but the risk is there. "The judicial review has become the weapon in the Fayed camp and if the coroner can't rely on the appeal judges to back him up, he may feel that he has to give them the room they want."

So the spectacle will go on. One alternative might have been a public inquiry, held under tighter rules and kept on a shorter rein. This, some argue, would have been far less costly while serving the purpose of airing all the issues. The inquest could have been adjourned, and ' as in the case of the Government scientist Dr David Kelly ' left like that and never re-opened. Instead, as in that case, the findings of the public inquiry would serve as the inquest findings.

At the end, the conspiracies will have been exhaustively aired. But will they have been laid to rest? It is almost certain that, however long it takes and at whatever cost, the verdict will see to that.
To my critics
When I'm in a sober mood, I worry, work and think,
When I'm in a drunken mood, I gamble, play and drink,
But when my moods are over and my time has come to pass,
I hope I'm buried upside down, so the world may kiss my ar*e
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Re: Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

Postby diddy » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:10 pm

No, I don't think it is.

All we are hearing is nothing to do with the crash, just an excuse to air "dirty linen".
I was never a fan, but Diana has gone down even more in my estimation.
The charade must go on.
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Re: Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

Postby writer lynn » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:55 pm

In answer to the title, yes. Nobody has the right to take another's life, nobody is above the law (Magna Carta 1215). There were too many questions and discrepancies to ignore. The information produced in court even so far shows that those questions were not unjustified. Why should Diana have gone to her grave with no-one checking out why she did.
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Re: Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

Postby IRONSIDE » Thu Feb 14, 2008 7:31 pm

What ever the outcome, there will be those that believe she was murdered and those that think it was an accident and sadly we will never know the truth....
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Re: Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

Postby emma2 » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:05 pm

IRONSIDE wrote:What ever the outcome, there will be those that believe she was murdered and those that think it was an accident and sadly we will never know the truth....



one day we will. just like with time the facts surrounding the assassination of Kennedy is becoming clearer.
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Re: Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

Postby fedrules » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:07 am

10 years and 10 million pounds later,we get the conclusion which most people came to days after the tragic accident.Let's hope it's over now,although there will no doubt be those who continue to believe she was murdered.Personally,I have always felt it was an accident caused by excessive speed and a drunk driver.
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Re: Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

Postby diddy » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:37 am

Well, I think Al Fayed still thinks it was murder.
Although he wouldn't have liked the verdict as it was one of his employees driving.
Why didn't they wear seat belts?
The charade must go on.
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Re: Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

Postby Meadow » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:44 am

The money spent on the obvious, is not well spent. But lets just hope that Diana rests in peace.

But let us be mindful that any body of a British National returning can be subject to an inquest of this nature.

I have just started a thread ''Hiding behind the Law'' ... how apt, that should Madeleine be found, and sadly dead. The British courts could fully, again investigate.

What a double whammy that would be.

What then??
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Re: Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

Postby just cooking » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:47 am

I would have thought Diana`s bodyguards would have checked on the drivers ability to be safe. Checking for alcohol etc... else what is the point of them.
This case will never be laid to rest. IMO
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Re: Diana Inquest - Is it money well spent?

Postby scandi » Tue Apr 08, 2008 7:55 am

Hi, I'm way over in Oregon, across the pond and the continent, and I learned today it was all because of that white car.

That car's job was to advance in front of Diana's car to slow it down so 2 other cars full of paporatzi could drive up on either side of her car and take photos.

Did Diana's driver then get rattled and go off course to the left and slam into that butress or stantion holding up the tunnel.


I was in Paris in 2001 and drove right by it, met a guy in line at the Orsay who was from London and represented the Ambulance company who was about to be sued by someone for taking so long to get to the hospital with Diana. 2 hours we waited in line, it was so cool. A dapper young chap about 30. About my age. :mrgreen:
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