As I see it, there's a fundamental flaw in the methodology of the Paget Report. Its original terms of reference - decided upon by the then Coroner, Michael Burgess, "and the then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, Sir John Stevens, now Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington" - were, rightly so, drawn quite broadly. Its third term was:
- To identify allegations which would suggest that the deaths of the Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed were caused other than as a result of a tragic road traffic accident and assess whether there is any credible evidence to support such assertions and report the same to the Coroner. [p.4]
But the opening sentence of the Report indicates how narrow its final parameters had become.
This police report documents the findings of the criminal investigation into an allegation made by Mohamed Al Fayed of conspiracy to murder the Princess of Wales and his son Dodi Al Fayed.
The Report does address some other allegations - those by Diana, Tomlinson and Shayler, especially - but these are secondary to the Report's primary focus, which is Mohamed Al Fayed's. I would submit that MaF is too close to the matter, too unreliable, to justify the attention given to his allegations by Paget. It's not just that some of his allegations are wild or overstated; it's also that he seems structurally unable to mention that his Dodi also belonged to the Khashoggi clan and that that fact might be significant. (As mentioned in 'Collision or Collusion', Dodi's late mother was Samira Khashoggi, the sister of Adnan.) According to the post-crash edition of "Time" magazine,
Adnan Khashoggi told a Saudi newspaper last month, "We welcome Diana into our family." [Time]
I doubt the British establishment would have welcomed such a thing, especially not having the princes so closely linked to such a notorious arms-dealer. But, because MaF doesn't mention the Khashoggi angle, the possibility that it might have been a motivating factor is not addressed by the Operation Paget detectives.
The website Namebase has a short review of a biography of Khashoggi, which succinctly if unflatteringly describes the man.
One example of wretched excess in the twentieth century is wheeler-dealer Adnan Khashoggi. He liked to throw extravagant parties for beautiful people and classy prostitutes at one of his twelve fully-staffed residences, on his $70 million yacht, or on one of his three commercial-size airplanes. His wealth, estimated at $4 billion in 1986, came from hefty commissions for arranging deals between U.S. defense contractors and the Saudi royal family. For years our mass media favored him with fawning reports on his lifestyle. Author Ronald Kessler does some of this, but fortunately this book is redeemed with a significant amount of investigative material.
Kessler wrote this at the peak of Khashoggi's career. Soon Khashoggi found himself in the middle of the Iran-contra scandal because of his work with Manucher Ghorbanifar in setting up several of the arms-for-hostages deals. Some of these deals were connected with BCCI, where Khashoggi was a major client. In 1988 he and Imelda Marcos were indicted in Manhattan for helping her late husband hide assets that belonged to the Philippine people. Khashoggi was arrested in Switzerland and extradited, but he and Imelda were acquitted in 1990. At last report (March 1992), Khashoggi sold his yacht and creditors impounded his jet. He lives mostly in Spain, is still fighting his legal battles, and was down to his last $54 million. [Review of 'Kessler, Ronald. The Richest Man in the World: The Story of Adnan Khashoggi.']
I'm not suggesting that the possible presence of Adnan Khashoggi in the lives of Diana and her sons would have been a sufficient motive for the British establishment to act against Dodi. I am suggesting that Operation Paget's focus on investigating Mohamed Al Fayed's allegations meant that the Khashoggi question is not even aired in the Report, because MaF has been unwilling or unable to mention it.
If the Paget team had been serious about identifying and investigating the allegations surrounding Diana and Dodi, it would have gone beyond the subjective testimonies of MaF, Diana, Tomlinson and Shayler, all of whom, coincidentally, had been in serious conflict with the British establishment prior to Diana's death. If the detectives had bothered, for example, to search the internet, they'd have found the alleged 'CIA document' and might have identified it as pertinent to their inquiry - they could even have gone to CIA and asked, 'Tell us about DCI Case 64376'. If they had put some energy into uncovering the whereabouts of the missing letters sent by Edinburgh to Diana, they'd at least have given an impression of trying. But, instead of testing the evidence, they test the credibilities of four known enemies of the Establishment and, to no one's surprise, find them wanting.
I'm reminded of two things: that the words politics and police both derive from the Gr. polis, and I reckon the Report is more a political document than a scientific one; and that, with delicious irony, on the same day as the Report was published, Downing St overrode the SFO and halted its investigation into corrupt Saudi arms deals with BAe, thus proving that the rule of law is subservient to the national interest. (Come to think of it, could Khashoggi have been involved with that scandal as well? See Slate's Timothy Noah's entertaining Six Degrees of Adnan Khashoggi.)