Diana Conspiracy Theory Pursued Again

ByABC News

W A S H I N G T O N, Aug. 30, 2001 -- Mohamed Al Fayed updated reporters today on his quest for information on the tragic events that claimed the life of Princess Diana and her companion, Al Fayed's son Dodi, four years ago.

Shortly after the Aug. 31, 1997, crash that killed the couple, a French court determined the cause was their intoxicated driver, Henri Paul — who also died in the wreck.

But Al Fayed has repeatedly accused British security services of engineering the crash to keep Diana, Princess of Wales, from marrying a Muslim, and he filed lawsuits to force a number of U.S. agencies to release files he believes would prove this conspiracy. Al Fayed is the owner of London's famed Harrods' department store.

In a videotaped statement shown at a news conference in Washington today, Al Fayed accused the agencies — which include the FBI, CIA and National Security Agency — of stonewalling, and vowed to continue his quest.

"They have done everything possible to delay the case and obstruct the release of documents which would show the corroboration between the United States and Parisian services and the British Secret Service," he said.

"I seek the support of the American people to bring pressure through the members of Congress to release the documents that will reveal the truth about the tragedy. I am in no doubt that the death was the result of a murder with racism at the core."

Al Fayed Says Marriage and Baby Were in Store

Al Fayed's lawyers also presented several pieces of circumstantial evidence that supported the Egyptian tycoon's allegations.

In addition to believing that his son and the princess planned to be married, Al Fayed says that Diana was pregnant with his grandchild.

Diana's friends have dismissed both claims, but Al Fayed's representatives today presented research by a team of professionals designed in part to call for the release of Diana's postmortem report.

The researchers noted Diana's body was embalmed only hours after her death, and that such an action was unusual, because a postmortem had not been done. They said it was even more unusual because Dodi Fayed's body was not embalmed as quickly.

All this is significant because embalming fluid would have produced a false-positive in any postmortem pregnancy test, they said.

But they said they did not know whether such a test had been carried out on the princess, and they would only get a better idea of whether or not she was pregnant after examining the postmortem report.

A Spy Talks

The lawyers also presented circumstantial evidence to support their beliefs that driver Paul was not drunk at the time of the crash.

They played a videotaped statement by former British spy Richard Tomlinson, who said the accident that killed Diana had all the hallmarks of a hit.

"The combination of bright lights and a tunnel made me think straight away, maybe it wasn't an accident," he said.

Tomlinson also suspects that blood samples that proved Paul was drunk could have been switched, since 15 other people had died in Paris that night.

Mark Zaid, an attorney for Al Fayed, added: "The official report of Henri Paul said he was an alcoholic, yet his liver was undamaged, which is unusual if you know anything about alcoholism."

In past interviews, Tomlinson has said that Paul was an informer for the British intelligence service MI6 and that he met with a handler before the crash.

He says Paul was missing for a half-hour before the fateful drive, and that the driver had a large amount of money in his pocket.

Situation Still Unclear

Al Fayed's representatives admit they have no hard evidence, but they say their findings raise questions that justify their efforts to gain information.

The U.S. government has acknowledged it has some files related to Princess Diana, and has even released some.

But it denies it ever spied on her or had anything to do with her death.

ABCNEWS' Jason Ryan in Washington contributed to this report.