This will be a great disappointment to some. Many will never be satisfied.
Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan Police commissioner who investigated the deaths, called for conspiracy theories to be "laid to rest". He said: "The verdict has been clear. They have said they are absolutely sure there is no conspiracy in relation to this matter." He voiced his hope that the inquest jury’s verdict will bring closure to this tragedy.
As expected, Mr. Fayed, Dodi’s father’s, shrugged off the jury’s findings, still insisting that the tragedy had been murder. The 11 jurors emphatically rejected the claims of the Harrods tycoon. This investigation is estimated to cost the British 10 million pounds ($20,000,000) when the final cost is tallied.
The inquest jury put the blame on the drunk driver and the paparazzi in cars and on motor bikes. The jury noted that both Diana and Dodi might have been saved if they had been wearing their seatbelts.
The Lord Justice Scott Baker instructed the jury could only consider five verdicts. The five possible verdicts were: unlawful killing by grossly negligent driving by paparazzi in the following vehicles; unlawful killing through gross negligence by driver, Henri Paul; unlawful killing by both following vehicles and Mr. Paul; and accidental death if none of these three fit; and an open verdict, which would have given credence to the conspiracy theories..
The jury heard testimony from 278 witnesses, and they took 23 hours and 45 minutes spread over 4 days to apportion blame for the accident and the deaths involved. Murder had already basically been eliminated as an option; however, the inquiry jury was given broad enough powers to list this option as well.
The verdict of the English inquiry jury raises questions about the earlier proceedings across the channel in France, to where the paparazzi were cleared of any wrongdoing. With the exception of one motorcyclist, all the paparazzi and their drivers who were present that night refused to give evidence to the inquest.
If there is to be any further ramification from these English inquest jury findings concerning the paparazzi, it will have to come from the French. The English coroner had no power to compel the paparazzi to testify. They went so far as to offer acceptance of a video link. The French government refused to force them to give evidence.
One of the main witnesses, the former Royal butler Paul Burrell, is facing possible perjury investigation after being branded a "liar" by the coroner. The police announced last Monday night they were still studying the evidence before deciding whether to launch a criminal perjury investigation.
It is to be noted here that two of the people closest to Princess Diana and perhaps the most concerned about the findings of the inquest, Diana’s two sons, William and Henry, both voiced their agreement with the be findings of the inquest jury. We can only hope that this will bring some closure to these two fine young men who visually bear marks of their mother’s parenting.