LONDON – Mohamed Al Fayed's last-minute legal bid to make Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip give evidence at the Diana, Princess of Wales, inquest was rejected by the High Court.
Lawyers for the Harrods tycoon applied for a judicial review of the decision made earlier this month that the royal couple do not need to attend the High Court hearing.
Sir Igor Judge, president of the Queen’s Bench Division, along with Justice Walker and Justice Cross, rejected that application on Tuesday.
It is believed that Al Fayed's lawyers, led by Michael Beloff, QC, wanted the Prince Philip, also known as the Duke of Edinburgh, to give evidence and the Queen to be approached about giving evidence.
After a 90-minute debate between lawyers on March 7, Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker stated: “In my judgment it is not expedient to call the Duke of Edinburgh to give evidence, nor do I think the Queen should be asked to answer the questions by Michael Mansfield [QC, representing Mr al Fayed at the inquest].
“Neither step will, in my judgment, further the inquest process.”
Tuesday was the last day on which witnesses were scheduled to give evidence to the inquest, which has heard from 252 people since it began on Oct. 2, 2007.
Al Fayed claims that Diana, 36, and his son Dodi, 42, were killed in a conspiracy hatched by Prince Philip, who did not want future king Prince William to have a Muslim stepfather.
The couple were killed, along with driver Henri Paul, in a Paris car crash in August 1997.