Princess Diana’s former butler was yesterday (31.03.08) branded a liar by the coroner at the inquest into her death.
Paul Burrell – who worked for the princess for 10 years until her death in 1997 – gave evidence in the High Court for three days but later told a friend he hadn’t told the whole truth.
He was asked by Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker to return to the UK from his Florida home to explain himself, but he refused.
During his summing up of the inquest, the coroner said: “One of the regrettable features of this case is the number of people who it appears have told lies in the witness box or elsewhere.
“Some are liars by their own admission – I refer to (paparazzo) James Andanson, Paul Burrell and John Macnamara (former director of security at Harrods).
“Others have either admitted telling half truths or part of their evidence may have shown in one respect or more that either in court or previously that they were not telling the truth.”
Burrell was seen boasting to his friend he had included “a couple of red herrings” in his testimony in a secret videotape obtained by The Sun newspaper. Although Justice Baker asked Burrell to return to London to explain his comments on the secret tape, the coroner does not have the power to compel witnesses who live abroad to come to court.
Andanson, who died in 2000, was investigated by police as the possible driver of a white Fiat Uno which had a brush with Princess Diana’s car seconds before it crashed.
The coroner said Andanson, who was ruled out as the driver of the mystery car, had lied by claiming to have taken the infamous toe-sucking pictures of the Duchess of York.
John Macnamara admitted lying about what Diana’s driver, Henri Paul, had to drink the night she died. Diana, her lover Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul were all killed when their car crashed into pillar 13 of Paris Pont d’Alma tunnel on August 31st 1997.