Diana bodyguard accused of lying

Princess Diana’s former guard was accused of lying at the inquest into her death yesterday (04.03.08).

David Meynell, the former head of the royal protection squad, appeared to have given contradictory accounts of the seriousness with which he took Diana’s fears the security services were spying on her.

Lord Justice Scott Baker – the coroner at Diana and her lover Dodi Fayed’s inquest – asked him to explain what action was taken after Diana met him in October 1994 and spoke of her worries about her car and home being bugged.

He had previously claimed a sweep had been carried out after their meeting and said the search found nothing. However, yesterday (04.03.08), he told the jury at the High Court his wording had been clumsy and what he had meant to say was that the sweep he was referring to had happened a year before their meeting and was not a response to it.

He claimed he was unable to organise a second sweep in 1994 because Diana would not co-operate.

Michael Mansfield, QC for Mohamed Al Fayed – who claims the British establishment engineered the Paris car crash which killed Diana and his son Dodi in 1997 – then accused him of lying.

He alleged Meynell had changed his story to tie in with an account from British police, who claimed nothing was ever done because of Diana’s refusal to co-operate.

Mansfield said there should have been a record of the sweep, whenever it happened, but there wasn’t one. He said Diana should have been told the results, but wasn’t.

He asked Meynell: “She really was being treated as a second class citizen wasn’t she? Did you really have a search and where is any verification of it?”

Mansfield also suggested police did want to investigate because they suspected that the security services were bugging the princess, a claim which Meynell denied. He insisted he had only told the jury things as he remembered them and called Mansfield’s allegations “ridiculous”.

Diana, Dodi and their driver Henri Paul were all killed when the princess’ Mercedes crashed into pillar 13 of Paris’ Pont d’Alma tunnel on August 31, 1997.