Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Diana Inquest - Justice for whom?

The long awaited Diana inquest is underway. Jurors have been sworn in. Six women and five men charged with answering four questions: who died, when did they die, where they died and how they died. The answer to these questions should be rather obvious, at least the first three anyways. It's the last question that may prove... to be the most difficult to answer. Or should the conclusion that there was no conspiracy, will it be the most difficult for Mohammed Al Fayed to accept?

Mohammed Al Fayed has propagated many of the allegations that have led to this inquiry. The events of August 31st and the days leading up to it have created hundreds of questions and launched many a conspiracy theory. Al Fayed alleges that Dodi and Diana were about to announce their engagement, that she was pregnant with Dodi's child and that the royal family could not accept the fact that the future King of England would have an Egyptian Muslim step-father. Some people need battles in their lives and he may be one of them. He fought for this inquest in front of a jury. Railed against the system in order to get it. Now that it's here, what happens next?

Al Fayed says: "I want justice for my son."

What about justice for Diana? What about justice for Trevor Rees-Jones - the sole survivor, and whose life is irrevocably changed? It's interesting to note that only Mohammed Al Fayed is the only one seeking the truth and justice. Where are the Spencers? Where are Prince William and Prince Harry? Do they not deserve the truth? The Princes have publicly announced that they accept the findings of the Lord Stevens Report. Also known as The Operation Paget Report, its 871 pages considered each allegation put forth by Al Fayed. He accused the original French investigation findings as incomplete. In Operation Paget, the investigators interviewed 300 witnesses, some for the first time, and went through 600 exhibits. Using the latest technology, they also reconstructed the crash in great detail. Lord Stevens came to the conclusion that there was no conspiracy to murder Diana and Dodi. It's unlikely that she was pregnant. With no indications given to family and friends, it's unlikely that she was engaged or about to get engaged to Dodi. The conclusion was that their deaths were the result of a tragic accident. Isn't that thorough enough?

It would be easy to dismiss Al Fayed as a loose cannon. His allegations make it easy to ignore the fact that he's a father who has never recovered from the loss of his son. "Grief is the price we pay for love." said the Queen in response to the September 11th, 2001 attacks. Can he be blamed for wanting closure? It depends on whose terms its on. Should this inquest lead to the conclusion that the crash was an accident, will Al Fayed accept it and let Diana, Dodi and Henri Paul rest in peace? Somehow I doubt it.

And after all of this time, that would be the biggest injustice of all.

© Marilyn Braun 2007

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