Coroner urged to call a halt to Di inquest

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London, Feb 21 : The coroner at the ongoing inquest into the death of Princess Diana and her lover Dodi Al Fayed has been flooded with demands from senior British parliamentarians to bring the proceedings to a close.

Lord Justice Scott Baker is facing requests from senior peers and MPs to re-evaluate his decision.

Members of the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC), which oversees the work of the intelligence agencies, called on the coroner fter it was revealed that 10 serving members of MI6 had been asked to give evidence.

Sir Richard Dearlove, the former MI6 chief, testified at the hearing and dismissed claims, circulated by Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed's, that his agency had plotted the 1997 car crash that killed the couple.

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, the Labour former minister and a member of the ISC, requested Justice Scott Baker to adjourn the investigation.

"I think it's a total waste of time and money. The extraordinary performance of Fayed has turned the whole thing into a circus," Times Online quoted Lord Foulkes, as saying.

"I think the coroner should now seriously consider stopping the inquest," he added.

Another ISC member, Labour MP Dari Taylor, told the paper: "It is going far too far. The plain fact is that the security services are severely overworked.

We understand Mr Fayed's grief. But the fact is that he has got to accept at some stage that there was nobody involved in his son's and Princess Diana's death."

"It was an accident. There is no evidence that suggests anything other than that.

"There has got to be a stage at which someone persuades him to stop this persistent demand that somewhere along the line this was a conspiracy. There was no conspiracy," he added.

Denis MacShane, a former Foreign Office minister, accused Fayed and his legal team of taking the claims too far.

"Fayed and his legal team are going too far. To put servants of the country, whose identities should be protected, into this farcical proceeding is actually threatening their individual security," he said.

"This is not only a farce, it is a contemptible abuse of British law and a scandalous waste of public money," he added.

ANI

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