Diana bodyguard to sue Paris Ritz

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The Independent Online
TREVOR REES-JONES, the bodyguard who survived the crash that killed Diana, Princess of Wales, brought a legal action yesterday against the Ritz Hotel in Paris for its role in events leading to the accident. The move could lead to criminal charges against senior managers of the hotel, which is owned by Mr Rees-Jones' former employer, Mohamed al-Fayed.

Although technically a complaint against persons unknown, Mr Rees-Jones alleges negligence on the part of the Ritz, and a limousine company, in allowing the crash car to be driven by an unqualified driver.

The legal action marks the final breakdown of relations between the former bodyguard and Mr Fayed. Mr Rees-Jones, who resigned from Mr Fayed's staff in May, is already suing the Harrods owner in Britain. He alleges that he has reneged on a written commitment to pay all his legal bills arising from the accident in August last year. If the British suit is successful, Mr Fayed would have to fund Mr Rees-Jones's action against the Ritz, his own company.

Mr Rees-Jones was grievously injured in the crash, which killed the princess, Dodi Fayed and their driver, Henri Paul. In the complaint lodged in Paris yesterday, Mr Rees-Jones complains that Etoile-Limousine and the Ritz Hotel should not have allowed Mr Paul to drive the armoured Mercedes 280 limousine.