Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Ten Years On, For God's Sake Get It Right: Part 2

I have to say that I'm a bit mystified by Mohammed Al Fayed's comments about the coroner's opening remarks in the Diana and Dodi inquest.

Al Fayed's spokesman reportedly complained that by raising "contentious issues" early on (such as Diana's possible pregnancy, her apparent belief that there was a plot to kill her or whether she and Dodi were just about to announce their engagement) "could have presented the appearance of bias, whether it was intended or not." He went on to say that the coroner's thrust "was that Mr Al Fayed was in the dock - that we weren't actually pursuing the truth so much, as trying to disprove Mr Al Fayed's firmly held beliefs".

Now don't get me wrong. I'm no Establishment yes-man. I mis-trust the State as much as next man. Al Fayed is not the only one looking for signs that this inquest might be a stitch-up with a pre-defined outcome. But I've read the coroner's opening remarks and I just cannot come up with that same interpretation.

To me, as a complete layman, there's an argument for saying that the coroner giving these issues such early prominence acutally lends them credence, rather than being some sort of sign to the jury that they should forget all about them. I'm not even sure the coroner should be pre-empting the allegations, giving them "air time" until they actually get brought up as part of the procedings. If anything the coroner's helped the Al Fayed case, because he's telling the jury quite clearly that these issues have to be seriously considered.

I suppose it comes down to which side of the fence you're on. Mohammed Al Fayed is obviously convinced that his son was murdered, and that the State are covering it up. He's not going to be swayed by whatever the inquest says, either.

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