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article imageOp-Ed: Diana inquest, an epic in the making and pregnant with ambiguities

By Paul Wallis     Oct 4, 2007 in Crime
If you were trying to prove something, this would be how not to prove it. The allegation is that Princess Diana was murdered by MI6 because of her relationship with Dodi Al Fayed. The logic was murky enough, but now she was also allegedly pregnant.
That allegation has added to the inquest a lot more scope for digression, and it's not making the process look good. Add enough elements to any situation, and the logic won't work.
It's also a well recognized method of blurring issues. Whodunit writers do it all the time.
So far not mentioned are alien abduction, the Marie Celeste, and ABBA. I suppose that'll be next week. I'm starting to realize why PT Barnum was so successful. Very attention getting, no doubt keeping the jury nicely overloaded with information, too.
There is, believe it or not, such a thing as a standard of evidence. People could be forgiven for not remembering that, what with the McCann case coverage and other horrors. So far, what’s been provided would be more aptly called sabotage to a case than evidence. The wilder the statement, the less credible the evidence, unless backed up by something substantial.
The pregnancy/murder theory is the big issue at the moment. The coroner, Lord Justice Baker, is providing some interesting statements in his address to the jury.
According to this BBC article :
Lord Justice Baker said scientific evidence might not be able to demonstrate either way whether or not Princess Diana was pregnant.
The inquest also heard how members of MI6 were in Paris during the summer Diana and Dodi Al Fayed both died, but Lord Justice Baker said they had "bigger fish to fry" than tracking Diana
Nice to know Baker’s been keeping up with the forensic science, and MI6’s travel and operational itinerary of 10 years ago, which is supposed to be classified, but is it reasonable to cast doubt on something generalized called “scientific evidence”, with the jury not having seen it?
As a matter of fact, you can’t be a bit pregnant with DNA tests, either. The formation of a placenta, and related hormones, wouldn’t be hard to identify. In fact, it’d be hard to miss.
The pregnancy allegation itself is questionable. It hasn’t been mentioned above rumor level for ten years, now it shows up, as an allegation? On what is it based? So far a profile shot of her in a swimsuit, and Baker has also discounted it on the basis that it was taken a year before she met Dodi Al Fayed.
So the score so far is Baker 3, Evidence 0. For those wondering, when a jury is called, they're the ones who make the decisions, not the person heading the inquest. Hence my interest in the amount of instruction the jury is being given. What does the jury have to work with? Not this stuff, obviously.
Assassinations using multiple paparazzi, French tunnels, alleged intelligence agents, drunks who weren’t drunk, and loads of video footage may well be standard practice. Given the normal standard of global intelligence operations, they may well be compulsory.
Perhaps there really is no other way of assassinating people, and that's why France is such a popular tourist destination for assassins and targets.
While I don’t doubt Mr. Al Fayed’s sincerity or anguish, the theory isn’t sticking too well. However, if he wants to get some justice, something a bit more irrefutabie than the allegations listed in this Daily Telegraph article are required.
What we have so far is more innuendo than evidence. Sensationalism isn’t in short supply, either. Conspiracy theories about the Queen abdicating, Charles marrying someone hyphenated, with Camilla presumably returning to Dixieland, and the Duke of Edinburgh ordering murders, do need a bit more information. Perhaps even just a hint of corroboration, if they’re expected to prove something?
On the face of it, I think somebody has been very unkindly putting things in Mr. Al Fayed’s heartbroken mind, possibly deliberately, and very maliciously. Actually, if you wanted to wreck the credibility of anyone, or any theory, large amounts of unsubstantiated allegations would do it quite effectively.
If this inquest intends to achieve anything, perhaps an objective with some basis in law would be nice. Perhaps something which qualifies as actual evidence, of anything at all, would help. Maybe the question of paparazzi breaking possibly every traffic law in France could come up. Some forms of traffic accident, causing death, include jail terms. So they are sort of legally relevant.
Diana The Industry continues unabated. Apparently the ghoul market is being targeted this decade.
Nice to know someone cares.
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