December 11, 2005

UK police interview Prince Charles in Diana probe

By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - A senior British detective has
interviewed Britain's Prince Charles as part of an inquiry into
the death of his former wife Princess Diana, the Prince's
office said on Sunday.

John Stevens, the former head of London's police force,
questioned Charles as part of his probe into circumstances
surrounding Diana's death in a high-speed car crash in Paris in

"I am happy to confirm that the Prince of Wales met with
Lord Stevens as part of his inquiry," a spokeswoman for Prince
Charles told Reuters.

The Sunday Times newspaper said the meeting took place at
the prince's London home, Clarence House, and lasted for
several hours.

Britain's Royal Coroner Michael Burgess asked Stevens to
examine allegations that Diana's death was not an accident as
part of an official inquest.

Diana, whose marriage to Charles broke down in 1992 and
later ended in divorce, was killed along with her lover Dodi al
Fayed and their driver Henri Paul in the crash in a Paris road

A French inquiry in 1999 ruled that the accident was caused
by Paul being drunk and driving too fast.

Allegations and conspiracy theories have emerged in the
aftermath and Burgess said he wanted the inquest to put an end
to the speculation.

On the day the inquest began in January 2004, reports said
that Diana had written a letter to her former butler Paul
Burrell 10 months before her death in which she said she
suspected Charles was trying to kill her.

"This particular phase in my life is the most dangerous,"
the letter said, according to excerpts leaked to the British
media. "My husband is planning 'an accident' in my car, brake
failure and serious head injury."

Royal commentators said the letter raised questions about
Diana's state of mind and in fact reduced the credibility of
any of the allegations aimed at Charles.

Dodi's father, Mohamed al Fayed, owner of exclusive London
store Harrods, has said he believes his son and Diana were
murdered by British secret services because their relationship
was embarrassing the royal household.

He has called for a full public inquiry saying the inquest
investigation would not be thorough enough.