Princess Diana’s boyfriend’s father was sure that they became the victims of a murder plot as soon as he learned of their fatal car crash in Paris .
Franz Klein, president of the Ritz Hotel in Paris, said he had telephoned Mohamed Al Fayed about 20 minutes after the accident. Klein told Al Fayed that his son Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul were dead but that Diana was still alive. She died later in a hospital.
Klein - also known as Frank - told the jury at London's High Court that during the conversation he referred to the crash as an accident.
"Mr. Fayed, very calm, said to me: 'Frank, this is not an accident, this is a plot or an assassination.'
"I said, 'You cannot say that; it's an accident,' and he said, 'Frank I know more than you know, more than you think."'
Al Fayed, who was in court, looked straight ahead as Klein gave his evidence.
Diana and Dodi Fayed died after a Mercedes carrying them slammed into a pillar in the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris while being pursued by paparazzi shortly after midnight on Aug. 31, 1997.
Al Fayed, owner of London's Harrods department store and the Ritz Hotel in Paris, contends that Diana and his son were the targets of a secret-service plot orchestrated by Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
An inquest into the pair's deaths began earlier this year. The inquest - required by British law when someone dies unexpectedly, violently or of unknown causes - had been delayed for 10 years because of two exhaustive investigations by French and British police.
Both concluded that driver Paul was drunk and speeding, and that the deaths were an accident.
Al Fayed says blood tests showing Paul was drunk were faked. He also maintains that Diana was pregnant with Dodi's child, that her body was embalmed to cover this up and that Dodi planned to marry the princess.
Klein testified that Dodi had told him he planned to get married and had bought an engagement ring from Repossi jewelers' "Dis-moi oui" ("Say Yes") range.
"I remember very well: He called me and he said, 'Frank I just passed by a jewelers' shop' ... He said, 'I want to buy some jewelry. I'm going to get engaged."'
He said Dodi had told him of plans for the couple to live at Villa Windsor in Paris - the house where the former King Edward VIII lived with his American wife, the Duchess of Windsor, after his abdication in 1936. In 1997, the house was owned by Al Fayed.
"He did not mention the princess by name but he did tell me that he was going to stay in Paris, to live, he told me he was going to move to the Villa Windsor with his girlfriend and he told me, all the time in English, that they were going to get married," Klein said.
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