Diana inquiry will cost more than £1m and be completed this year, say police

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The Independent Online

A police inquiry into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed is expected to cost more than £1m, Scotland Yard said yesterday.

The inquiry was ordered in January by Michael Burgess, Coroner to the Queen's Household, who is overseeing the inquests into the couple's death in a car crash in Paris in 1997. Mr Fayed's father, the Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed, has persistently claimed that they were murdered.

A Scotland Yard spokesman outlined the expected cost of the inquiry, which is being carried out by a squad of ten officers, and said that it should be completed by the end of the year.

Sir John Stevens, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, who is overseeing the investigation, said that he would personally interview the Prince of Wales. When asked if he would question the Queen he responded: "I don't know." Sir John said that Mr Fayed had already been seen by Alan Brown, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner who is running the investigation.

Sir John said that in three or four weeks he would be going to Paris to inspect the route of the last journey from the Ritz Hotel to the crash site in the Alma underpass. He would also talk to the French authorities who have carried out an exhaustive inquiry that produced a 6,000-page dossier on the case. A French judge has already ruled that the car crashed because the driver, Henri Paul, was affected by drink and drugs, was going too fast and lost control.

It was revealed last year that 10 months before the accident the Princess of Wales wrote a note that she handed to her former butler, Paul Burrell. In it she said: "My husband is planning an accident in my car, brake failure and serious head injury - to make the path clear for him to marry."