Tuesday, April 08, 2008

WHERE NOW AFTER DIANA VERDICT?

After jurors in the inquest into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed reached a verdict of unlawful killing, BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw answers questions on what the impact of the findings could be.

WILL ANYONE BE PROSECUTED FOLLOWING THE VERDICTS?

No-one can be prosecuted in Britain for a crime committed abroad allegedly by a foreign national, even if the victim is British.
So any prosecution for the deaths of Diana and Dodi would have to brought by the authorities in France, because the deaths occurred there and none of the paparazzi allegedly involved was British.
Clearly no prosecution can be brought against Henri Paul, the driver, who died in the crash.

WHAT AVENUES CAN MOHAMED AL FAYED NOW PURSUE?
He could ask the French authorities to re-open their investigation.

Mohamed Al Fayed could ask the French to re-open their investigation.
Previously the French had refused to prosecute any other photographers for manslaughter, or contributory negligence - although three of them were tried and convicted of breaching privacy laws.
He could argue that with the unlawful killing verdicts, the French should examine any new lines of inquiry thrown up by the inquest.
He could seek to challenge the inquest verdict in the High Court. To do so, he would have to show that the coroner had made a significant legal mistake or had misdirected the jury.

HOW ARE THE FRENCH AUTHORITIES LIKELY TO REACT?

The French carried out an exhaustive inquiry into the deaths. This was followed by Lord Stevens's inquiry conducted on behalf of the coroner, which backed up the French investigation.
So the French would need some convincing that the investigation should be re-opened.
BBC NEWS REPORT.

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