Coroner Warns Media Against Discussing Diana Proceedings

The coroner at the inquest into the deaths of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed has warned the media against discussing the value of the proceedings.

This week's evidence from Mohamed al Fayed and former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove led one Labour peer to describe the inquest as a circus and suggest it be stopped.

His comments were reported by a prominent national broadsheet newspaper.

In court on Thursday, Lord Justice Scott Baker issued a stern warning to the media about coverage of the inquest.

"These inquests are inquests into the deaths of two people and are being heard by a jury.

"They will continue to be heard by a jury on evidence they hear in this court and nothing else.

"Comments made outside this court, often about a limited aspect of the evidence, may tender the maker or publisher liable to contempt of court.

"I again urge great care that nothing is said, written or published that may influence the jury."

On Wednesday the coroner explained why so much evidence of "only marginal, if any, relevance" had been heard.

He claimed it was the best way to try to deal with any "public suspicion" surrounding the long-awaited inquest, which has triggered interest around the globe.

The inquest on Thursday was hearing evidence from the widow and son of a paparazzi photographer, James Andanson.

He had taken pictures of the princess before the crash that killed her and Fayed in Paris.

Andanson was found dead in a burnt-out car in 2000.

The inquest continues.