Deaths of Diana and Dodi al-Fayed were "unlawful killing"
(dpa) - Princess Diana and her lover Dodi al-Fayed were unlawfully killed due to the gross negligence of driver Henri Paul and the photographers who followed their car in Paris on August 31, 1997, the jury at the inquest into their deaths ruled Monday.
The jury of six women and five men reached their majority verdict at the end of a six-month inquest headed by Judge Thomas Scott Baker, and after hearing evidence from more than 250 witnesses.
Dodi's father, Mohammed al-Fayed, had claimed that Diana and his son were "murdered" in a security service plot masterminded by Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
But Scott Baker dismissed the possibility of a murder plot during his summing-up last week, telling the jury there was no evidence that the couple died in a "staged accident."
Monday's jury verdict explicitly blamed the driver of the crash Mercedes, Henri Paul, and the pursuing paparazzi photographers for the deaths which it said were due to the "gross negligence" of both the driver and the photographers.
In December 2006, a London Metropolitan Police inquiry concluded that Diana and Dodi died as a result of an accident when their car crashed into a pillar in the Alma tunnel in Paris more than 10 years ago.