MI6 had a team of agents operating at the British Embassy in Paris at the time of Princess Diana’s death, the former ambassador said yesterday.
But Lord Jay told the inquest into the deaths of Diana and her lover, Dodi Fayed, that he had no reason to believe that the intelligence service had anything to do with the car crash that claimed their lives on August 31, 1997.
The retired diplomat, who was then known as Sir Michael Jay, said he oversaw the spies’ activities and was briefed by the senior MI6 officers in Paris about anything sensitive they did.
He told the inquest jury: “I would hold regular meetings with the head of the section, as I would do with the heads of other sections of the embassy.
“He would keep me informed about the main work that they were doing and he would tell me of any particular operations that might be difficult or sensitive or raise, in particular, press interest.”
The work was concerned with issues such as terrorism and drugs.
But he admitted that he did not know all of the MI6 agents in the embassy operating under diplomatic cover and he was not kept abreast of all their operations.
Dodi’s father, Harrods tycoon Mohamed Al Fayed, has claimed that the couple were murdered by MI6 on the orders of Prince Philip amid fears that they were soon to marry and have a Muslim child.
But the former British ambassador to France said the first he knew of Diana being in Paris was when he was woken in the early hours with news of the crash.
Ian Burnett, QC, for the coroner, said: “You are aware, Lord Jay, that it has been suggested that you personally ordered the embalming of the body of the Princess of Wales on the instructions of MI6 to conceal the fact that she was pregnant with Dodi’s child.”
He replied: “There is no truth in that allegation whatsoever.”
Mr Al Fayed has claimed that Lord Jay conveyed the embalming order to French deputy prosecutor Maud Coujard.
But she has testified she had not been involved in authorising the embalming and had not spoken to anyone from the embassy about it. Jean Monceau, an embalmer, has testified that he told Britain’s consul-general Keith Moss that Diana’s body should be embalmed because it was not in a fit state to be seen by her ex-husband Prince Charles.
In court yesterday, Lord Jay also denied another part of the conspiracy theory involving Diana’s brother-in-law, Lord Fellowes, who was then the Queen’s private secretary. It has been alleged that Lord Fellowes, who will give evidence today, was in Paris at the time and commandeered the embassy operations room to oversee the plot.
Asked whether Lord Fellowes was in Paris that night, Lord Jay replied: “No, he was not.”
The Foreign Office confirmed last night that the former head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove, is to be called as a witness. And Mr Al Fayed is to appear next week.
The photo right was taken by Romauld Rat shortly after Diana’s Mercedes crashed. Click here to see the version presented to the Coroner’s inquest into her death. You will note that it is much bigger than that circulated by the mainstream media and more detailed. In fact in the photo presented to the Coroner’s inquest there appears to be someone in the back seat of the dark Peugeot escaping over the crash debris.
As the reader who sent the photo in asks: we know Sir Richard Dearlove was in Paris on the night of Diana’s death, or at least had agents there operating under his orders. So that couldn’t possibly be him in the back seat of the Peugeot, could it?
We leave readers to decide but this web site firmly believes that Princess Diana was murdered and the inquest into her death is simply being used to give the official seal of approval on the cover-up.
It’s also worth noting that while towing the official line on Diana’s death, Britain’s former ambassador has been elevated from Sir to Lord Michael Jay. No doubt in recognition for services rendered to the Royal House of Windsor.