MI6 kept files on Al Fayed, 'Agent X' tells Diana inquest
Published 27/02/2008 | 00:00
British intelligence has kept a file on Mohamed Al Fayed since the 1980s, the inquest into the death of Princess Diana was told yesterday.
An officer from the Secret Intelligence Service said she found a card under Mr Al Fayed's name in MI6 files and his name also cropped up in internal memos in 1994.
But, contrary to claims made by Mr Fayed, MI6 had no files on the Princess or her boyfriend Dodi Fayed and had never drawn up plans to assassinate them, the inquest heard.
Mohamed Al Fayed, the owner of Harrods, told the inquest earlier this month that he believed MI6 had assassinated the Princess and his son on the orders of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
But the MI6 agent, identified only as "Miss X'', said there was "no plan whatsoever''.
Miss X said she had searched the MI6 files after officers from Operation Paget -- a police investigation into the deaths of the Princess and Dodi Fayed in a Paris car crash in 1997 -- contacted the service in 2004 to see any relevant papers.
Ian Burnet, counsel to the inquest, questioned Miss X about the Princess and her boyfriend, asking: "No cards for either and no files for either?'' She replied: "Absolutely correct.''
He added: "If for the sake of argument there had been any plan at all involving Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Al Fayed, would that have been drawn up by your searches?''
"Yes, there was absolutely no plan whatsoever,'' she replied.
Mr Burnett continued: "Had there been any monitoring of any sort or any surveillance of any sort would that have shown up in the records?'' "Yes,'' she replied. "There was none.''
Asked about Prince Philip and whether she found any reference to him, she replied she had not, then added: "I would just like to say at this stage, sir, we don't hold one, either files or cards, on the royal family. I could do a search on all of them.''
During her search, Miss X did find a card with Mohamed Al Fayed's details, created in the 1980s. There were also records of Mr Al Fayed appearing in secure telegraphic messages sent by MI6 staff.
The inquest was not given details of the information MI6 kept on Mr Al Fayed, but in the 1980s he was the subject of a Department of Trade inquiry into his takeover of the House of Fraser group.
It was concluded that Mr Al Fayed and his brother Ali had lied about their past and their wealth.
His business rival Tiny Rowland later accused him of breaking into his Harrods safety deposit box, which led to Mr Al Fayed's arrest, but no charges were ever brought. (© Daily Telegraph, London)