London, Jan 18 : Princess Diana wouldn't have died had she accepted the protection persistently offered by the Metropolitan police, the force's former commissioner told the inquest into her death.
Lord Condon told the London High Court that his force had repeatedly begged Diana to restore her Scotland Yard security team, a move that, according to him, could have saved the princess' life.
He described how Diana decided to chuck out her police protection team against his wishes in December 1993, adding that she was "absolutely adamant" about not having protection. Lord Condon further revealed that he had tried his best to make Diana change her mind before she died along with boyfriend Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul in a Paris car crash in August 1997.
"Let me be absolutely frank. If as my wish was, she would have had police protection in Paris, then I'm absolutely convinced those three lives would not have been tragically lost," the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.
"Her problem with protection was, sadly, that she did not have police protection. I wish she had," he added.
Under questioning by Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed's lawyer Michael Mansfield, Lord Condon also accepted that the princess did not trust the police.
"Clearly she had decided in her own mind, sadly, that the police, if they were on anyone's side, were not on her side. That was wrong but I think it was a view that I think I would have found it very hard to change her mind about," he said.
The former police chief also "refuted totally" that the princess's concerns had been disregarded by police.
He also rejected claims that he had covered up evidence that the princess was murdered as "abhorrent" and "disgusting".