Princess Diana jury returns verdict of "unlawful killing"

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Monday, April 7, 2008

Princess Diana in Bristol (1987)
Image: Rick Weston.

The jury of the inquest into the death of Princess Diana has returned a majority verdict, by 9 to 2, saying that the Princess was unlawfully killed through "grossly negligent driving" or "gross negligence manslaughter" on the part of Henri Paul who was driving and the paparazzi who were following the Mercedes before it crashed.

The jury also specified that Henri Paul's driving, and the fact that all the passengers were not wearing seat belts, were also contributing causes to their deaths, additionally returning the same verdict for Dodi Al Fayed.

Princess of Wales' funeral procession passing St. James Park.
Image: Jialiang Gao.

The jury was sent to make its decision on Wednesday, April 2, after Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker told them a majority of 9 was acceptable and that for a decision of unlawful killing to be delivered, then they must be sure beyond any reasonable doubt that the deaths were caused by recklessness.

Dodi Al Fayed's father, Mohammed, said that he would not accept the verdict delivered.

The verdict ends the 6 month investigation into the Princess' death, 10 years after her Mercedes crashed into a pillar in the Pont d'Alma road tunnel in Paris, France, on August 31, 1997.