Judge Rules Out Jury in Princess Diana Inquest

A judge in Britain ruled Monday that the inquest into Princess Diana's death will not be held by jury, arguing it would be difficult to find a group of people without strong views on the case.

In her 34-page ruling, Baroness Elizabeth Butler-Sloss wrote that it would be hard to find a jury who had not been exposed to the media reports on the Aug. 31, 1997, Paris car accident and the investigation that followed.

Butler-Sloss also wrote that the rules of an inquest would forbid a jury from considering the conspiracy theories that have dogged the investigation into the deaths of the princess and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed.

"In particular, the jury would not be able to answer questions on allegations that a person, group or organization had been guilty of criminal activities in respect of the death of the princess or Dodi al Fayed," she said.

The judge said there would be much technical evidence about the crash, including a video simulation and expert testimony. Over 30 witnesses would be asked to provide evidence — most likely by video link from Paris.

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