Al Fayed attacks Met as assault case is dropped

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The Independent Online

Mohamed Al Fayed has criticised the Metropolitan Police after learning that he will not face charges in relation to allegations that he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl.

The Harrods owner said he was “shocked” by Scotland Yard’s handling of the nine-month investigation – details of which he says were leaked to the press to cause “maximum damage” to his reputation and businesses.

He also said he was not at his Knightsbridge store, where the alleged offence is said to have taken place, at the time of the alleged attack last May. Instead, he said he was four miles away at Fulham Football Club, which he also owns, watching a match.

The Egyptian-born businessman spoke out after the Crown Prosecution Service said it had advised the Met that he should not be charged. Rene Barclay, director of complex casework at the CPS, said: “In the light of conflicting evidence and absence of sufficiently reliable accounts of crucial events, there was no realistic prospect of conviction.”

Mr Al Fayed said: “It cannot be right that an accused person is publicly named before proceedings are brought. I intend to fight to ensure that others on the receiving end of false allegations are properly protected.”