Scotland Yard accused of inertia over Diana videos

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The Independent Online

Scotland Yard was accused yesterday of "inertia" over its handling of a claim for the return of video tapes showing Diana, Princess of Wales, talking candidly about the breakdown of her marriage.

Lawyers acting for Peter Settelen, who made the recordings when giving the Princess public speaking lessons in the early 1990s, have given the Metropolitan Police until tomorrow to begin steps to resolve the dispute or face High Court action.

Mr Settelen, 52, is claiming ownership of the copyright of the tapes against a counter-claim from the trustees of the Princess's estate, who reportedly want them destroyed.

Up to 20 tapes are being held by Scotland Yard after they were seized by detectives investigating allegations of theft against the former royal butler Paul Burrell.

Marcus Rutherford, the solicitor acting for Mr Settelen, said: "Ever since Mr Settelen requested their return after the Princess's death, there has been a fair degree of inertia on the part of [police and the Princess's estate] in dealing with the issue."

Scotland Yard said last night that the only way for the dispute to be solved would be by a settlement between the two sides or court action.