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Princess Diana, Third Anniversary, August 31, 2000

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Thursday August 31 9:18 AM ET
Diana Anniversary Marked Quietly

By AUDREY WOODS, Associated Press Writer

LONDON (AP) - Three years after Princess Diana's death in a high-speed car crash, remembrances of her life will be a private issue for the royal family and a low-key matter for her admirers.

At Kensington Palace, the focus of mass public mourning in 1997, loyal fans returned with flowers and candles, though in dwindling numbers.

``She did so much for the nation that coming down here on this day I just feel inside that I have given something back,'' said Ann Woodhouse, 56, who made a special trip to the palace from her home in the northwest England city of Liverpool.

``The hierarchy have forgotten Diana, but we are never going to forget,'' said Julie Kain, 35, of Newcastle.

At Westminster Abbey, where Diana's funeral service took place, the princess was to be remembered in prayers.

Prince William, Diana's 18-year-old son who just graduated from Eton, was away from home on Thursday's anniversary. He went to Belize right after school to begin a year of traveling and working before starting college.

Prince Harry, 15, was with his father, Prince Charles, at Balmoral, the royal family's private estate in the Scottish Highlands. It was at Balmoral, on Aug. 31, 1997, that William and Harry first heard of their mother's death.

On Sunday, Charles and Harry were with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and the 100-year-old Queen Mother Elizabeth at Crathie Church, Balmoral. Prayers were said for Diana, although she was not mentioned by name, as is traditional in the Church of Scotland.

Althorp, the Spencer family estate, closed its doors to the public Wednesday after its two months open each year for people to visit a memorial to Diana by her brother, Earl Spencer. The earl was expected to spend the anniversary quietly at Althorp, where Diana was buried on an island in an ornamental lake.

A memorial was planned Thursday at Harrods, the London department store owned by Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi died in the Paris crash with Diana.

Al Fayed said Wednesday he will file suit in U.S. federal court to gain access to American intelligence information, and repeated his claim that Diana and his son were victims of a murder conspiracy plotted by people who disapproved of their relationship.

He said he was seeking documents from the CIA, the Justice Department and the National Security Agency.

``No one suspects the U.S. government was involved'' in the accident, said Al Fayed's lawyer, Mark Zaid. But he said the government might be withholding information.

Neither Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller nor NSA spokeswoman Judi Emmel would comment, citing the pending litigation.

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said the agency understands Al Fayed's ``grief and tremendous sense of loss.'' But he said any suggestion that the CIA spied on Dodi Fayed or on Diana, or that it knows of any plot to murder them is ``totally unfounded.''

In April, an appeals court rejected Al Fayed's request for the information, upholding the decision of a lower court judge who said Al Fayed had tried ``to make an end run around'' the Freedom of Information Act.

Paris judge Herve Stephan has concluded that alcohol, drugs and excessive speed caused the crash that ended the life of the ``people's princess.''

In the past three years, the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund has amassed $160 million from public donations, corporate and other funds and the licensing of Diana memorabilia.

So far, $40 million has been pledged to help the most disadvantaged people. A total of $65 million will be spent by 2001, then $10 million each year thereafter.

Wednesday August 30 12:24 PM ET
U.S. To Be Sued in Diana Case

By DAVID HO, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - The father of Dodi Fayed said Wednesday he would file a lawsuit to gain access to any information the United States might have about the Paris car crash that killed his son and Princess Diana three years ago.

``We have a lot of unanswered questions but without the cooperation of the United States government, I don't believe we ever will get'' the answers, said John Macnamara, director of security for Harrods, the department store owned by Mohamed Al Fayed.

Macnamara told a news conference that a CIA official and two FBI officials were assigned to the case.

``Not one individual in the United States has been prosecuted ... to this day nothing has happened,'' he said. ``Not one move has ever been made by U.S. authorities.

In videotaped and written statements, Al Fayed repeated his claim that the Aug. 31, 1997, deaths were a murder conspiracy plotted by people who did not approve of Diana's relationship with his son.

``Since that tragic day three years ago I have not rested in my search for the truth,'' he said in the written statement.

Al Fayed said he was seeking documents from the CIA and from the National Security Agency, which he said monitored telephone conversations with Diana.

``The United States' intelligence gathering network, which through the most sophisticated satellite systems, allowed the NSA to spy on Diana,'' he said. He said files on the monitored conversations were passed on to British intelligence.

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit because it hasn't yet been filed or reviewed.

``We understand Mr. Al Fayed's grief and tremendous sense of loss but any suggestion that the CIA spied on Dodi Fayed or Princess Diana, has knowledge of any plot to murder them, or had anything to do with this tragic accident is totally unfounded,'' Mansfield said.

Doubts already have been cast on a number of allegations Al Fayed has made in connection with Diana's death, including that a mysterious nurse imparted last words from the princess and that Diana and Dodi Fayed planned to marry.

Al Fayed's lawyer, Mark Zaid, said he would file a Freedom of Information lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington.

Zaid said the suit will seek information about more than 20 individuals and events related to the deaths.

``No one suspects the U.S. government was involved,'' he said.

But he said he was concerned that information was being withheld.

Al Fayed was more specific. ``I believe they are withholding some of the documents at the request of the British Secret Service,'' he said.

At the news conference, Macnamara and Zaid showed security camera footage of Diana and Dodi Fayed before the accident, in an attempt to dispute allegations that the driver of their limousine was drunk.

The driver, Henri Paul, was employed by Al Fayed.


Tuesday August 29 5:47 PM ET
Fayed to sue CIA for documents on Princess Diana

By Tabassum Zakaria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mohammed Al Fayed, convinced the car crash that killed his son Dodi and Britain's Princess Diana was no accident, will sue the CIA and other U.S. agencies this week for documents that could shed light on the incident.

Lawyers for the Egyptian-born tycoon plan a press conference Wednesday to announce the lawsuit against agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency and Defense and Justice Departments.

U.S. lawyer Mark Zaid said some requests will be for specific information, including any recordings or telephone calls between Dodi and Diana made by the NSA, and in other cases would be more general.

CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said he could not comment on the lawsuit until it had been filed and the agency had a chance to read it. ``But I would emphasize that any suggestion the CIA had anything to do with this tragedy is ludicrous,'' he said.

Fayed, who owns London's Harrods luxury department store, has unsuccessfully tried to subpoena the documents through another U.S. court case and will now sue for them under the Freedom Of Information Act.

Diana and Dodi were killed in a car crash in Paris Aug. 31, 1997. Fayed believes it was a murder plot to prevent his son and the mother of the heir to the British throne from marrying.

On his Web site, he sets out his case, ``It is my firm belief that Britain's racist establishment found (Dodi and Diana's) relationship utterly unacceptable, and so conspired with the intelligence services to have them killed.''

Says Prince Philip Masterminded Plot

Fayed has long been at odds with the British government which has repeatedly denied his requests for citizenship.

He claims Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband to Britain's Queen Elizabeth, masterminded a plot to kill the lovers and it is being covered up by the CIA and Britain's MI5 and MI6 intelligence services.

The British government has rejected his appeal for a full inquiry, referring him to a French investigation which found that Dodi and Diana's driver crashed because he was drunk.

Zaid, of Washington firm Lobel, Novins & Lamont, played down suggestions by lawyers in London that there would be revelations at the Washington news conference.

``Most of the information we will be discussing will be new to our audience, but in some form or another it's all been out there,'' he said in a telephone interview.

The lawsuit is to be filed in U.S. District Court Thursday, the three-year anniversary of the car crash that stunned the world and plunged Britain into an uncharacteristic open display of grief.

It will seek records relating to Diana, Dodi Fayed, the driver of the car Henri Paul and others.

Fayed wants documents related to Oswald LeWinter, who claimed to have worked for the CIA and tried to elicit $20 million from Fayed for what turned out to be forged documents that were supposed to indicate the British government was behind the fatal car crash.

LeWinter was sentenced to four years in prison in 1998 in Vienna for trying to sell fraudulent documents which he gave to a representative of Fayed at meetings in Austria.

Reuters/Variety REUTERSTuesday August 29 11:23 AM ET
Was Diana's Death an Establishment Plot?

LONDON (Reuters) - Three years after his son and Britain's Princess Diana died in a Paris car crash, Mohamed al Fayed is as determined as ever to prove to the world that the couple's death was the result of an establishment plot.

His lawyers promise new revelations at a news conference in Washington on Wednesday about the crash and an alleged $20 million fraud effort surrounding secret documents on the couple held by America's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

As strong as Fayed's belief that international governments and their spies plotted to kill his son and Princess Diana, is his conviction that God has chosen him to fight back.

``I will take on this power and this establishment,'' he told Reuters in an interview. ``And God is helping me. Maybe God knows that I am committed to opening it up for the that they can see what kind of people are in power.''

Fayed, the Egyptian-born multi-millionaire owner of chic London Harrods department store, was once described by a commentator in Britain's Times newspaper as ``the dark destroyer of reputations and livelihoods''.

The tragic Paris crash in August 1997 in which Fayed's son Dodi and Diana were killed when their Mercedes smashed into the wall of a tunnel has certainly blackened his view of almost anyone and everyone with power.

People pay their respects at the memorial to Diana,  Princess of Wales, at Altrhorp House in Northamptonshire, August 30, 2000.
August 31  marks the third anniversary of the death of The Princess of Wales and her companion Dodi Al Fayed in a car accident in Paris. REUTERS/Ian Hodgson

A woman pins a poster of Princess Diana onto the  memorial near the site where she died near the Alma  bridge in Paris Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2000. Princess  Diana of Wales died in a crash on Aug. 31,1997 with her  companion Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul. (AP  Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Photos and floral tributes to the Britain's late Princess  Diana, on left on the gate of her former London home, Kensington Palace, Wednesday, August 30, 2000. The  princess died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. Flowers and tributes are being placed by the
 public on the ornamental gate to Kensington Palace  prior to the third anniversary of her death. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

Visitors to London look at a floral tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales at her former London home Kensington Palace, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2000. The princess died in a  car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. Flowers and tributes are being placed by the public on the ornamental gates to Kensington Palace prior to the third anniversary of her death. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

A woman places a floral tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, at her former  London home, Kensington Palace, Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2000. The princess died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. Flowers and tributes are being placed by  the public on the ornamental gates to Kensington Palace prior to the third anniversary of her death. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
A man outside the gates at London's Kensington Palace the former home of Diana,  Princess of Wales, paints his tribute as crowds gather on the third anniversary of her death, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2000. Visitors from all over the world are here to pay their respects and to lay flowers. Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris exactly three years ago. (AP Photo/Dave Caulkin)

What Diana meant to me - by Mohamed Al Fayed



21 reasons why Mohamed Al Fayed believes what he does
Mohamed Al Fayed's personal conviction that his son and Princess Diana were murdered is not some fantasy - it is founded upon a solid body of fact.   Taken together, these disturbing facts support a compelling argument that there was indeed foul play.  As yet, there is no proof of conspiracy, but there is clearly a case to be answered.  Far too many unanswered questions about the tragedy still remain and the failure to investigate further can only fuel suspicion.

Here Michael Cole, Harrods spokesman at the time of the crash, explains exactly why Mohamed makes the controversial claims he does about the deaths in Paris.

A specially recorded tribute CD, composed and recorded by the legendary jazz guitarist and pop/soul singer George Benson, has been launched as a memorial to Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Fayed.

The tribute songs, My Father, My Son and I will Keep You in My Heart, will directly benefit Diana's former boarding school, New School near Sevenoaks in Kent (England), which offers specialised teaching to traumatised children.

Princess Diana Royals not attending Diana walk

No members of the Royal Family will attend the official opening of the Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Walk and Playground, it has been confirmed.

Buckingham Palace has insisted, however, that their absence is not a snub to Diana's memory.

The Memorial Walk through Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, Green Park and St James's Park will instead be opened by Chancellor Gordon Brown and Royal Parks Minister Alan Howarth.

They will join Diana's close friend Rosa Monckton and her daughter Domenica Lawson, the late Princess's godchild, to open the playground in Kensington Gardens.

St James's Palace said the Prince of Wales will be in Dorchester attending a number of "public and private engagements".

"He has long-standing commitments and he is always careful not to let people down."

Prince William and Prince Harry were asked if they wanted to attend the opening but declined, a spokeswoman said.

She added: "That was a very private and personal decision they made for themselves."

The Queen will be in Scotland from tomorrow for Royal Week, the Palace said.

Anti-landmine machine 'inspired by Diana'

A former RAF technician has invented a revolutionary machine to clear landmines after watching television footage of the late Diana, Princess of Wales in an Angolan minefield.

Bob French, from Melton Mowbray, Leics, came across mines while stationed in Borneo in the 1960s.

The 57-year-old decided to design a clearance machine after watching the Princess during her anti-landmine crusade and finding that the technology to rid the world of landmines had not progressed.

The Redbus Land Mine Disposal System promises to clear land the size of Wembley Stadium in the same time it takes a two-person de-mining team to clear a patch of a few metres.

Mr French, who launches the system, said: "I saw the way they were still poking rods in ground and couldn't believe my eyes.

"There had been no advance in 35 years and I thought there must be a simple and efficient way of clearing."

The new disposal system, which sets-off the explosives before crushing them, uses remote-control technology, making it safer for operators who will be able to stand farther away from the blasts.

Mr French said: "With the standard machines there have been too many casualties after clearing.

"But with these machines nobody is in harm's way. People can build houses on the land and go back to their normal lives," he said.

Rose plaques mark out Diana walk

The first plaques marking the £1.3 million walkway to commemorate Diana, Princess of Wales, are being installed.

The seven-mile walk through London's St James's Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens will be charted by 80 plaques laid in the ground.

They will highlight buildings and locations associated with the princess, including Kensington Palace, where she lived for 15 years, Buckingham Palace, Clarence House, from where she left to get married, St James's Palace, where she once had her office jointly with the Prince of Wales, and Spencer House, the former London home of the Spencer family.

The plaques have a rose emblem in the centre, etched in stainless steel, which symbolise the princess's image and the traditions of Britain.

Designed by sculptor Alec Peever, they will direct walkers along the route.

Along the walkway the Royal Parks Agency are improving and enhancing the existing environment, including landscaping, restoring ornamental gates, fountains and memorials and planting 1.3 million spring bulbs.

Chancellor Gordon Brown has called the walkway one of the most magnificent urban parkland walks in the world.

A children's playground is also being built in Kensington Gardens in memory of the princess.

~More on the Third Anniversary~
page one
CNN report: Some still come to remember Diana
Prince William's Coat of Arms 
contains a tribute to his late mother 
Princess Diana - in the shape of a small 
red escallop shell.

page three
Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground 
in Kensington Gardens, London,
Peter Pan inspires Diana memorial, 
Royal Family Snubs Diana Memorial, 
new photographs.

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