Princess Diana was unlawfully killed due to the “gross negligence” of driver Henri Paul and the paparazzi, an inquest jury has found.
The jury reached the same verdict for her companion Dodi Al Fayed. The jury also specified that Mr Paul’s drink-driving and a lack of seatbelts contributed to their deaths.
Mr Al Fayed’s father Mohamed refused to accept the verdict. Former Met Police chief Lord Stevens said he hoped it would bring “closure”.
The jury returned joint verdicts of unlawful killing through grossly negligent driving – or gross negligence manslaughter
The inquest into the 1997 Paris crash that killed the couple and Mr Paul lasted six months.
The total cost to British taxpayers of investigating Princess Diana’s death is expected to top £10 million.
Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed were killed when Mr Paul crashed a hired Mercedes into a pillar in the Pont de l’Alma in Paris in the early hours of 31 August, 1997.
statement read on behalf of Mohamed Al Fayed said the verdicts would come as a blow to “millions” of his supporters around the world .
It continued: “For 10 years I have endured two police investigations. The French and the Scotland Yard inquiries were wrong. These inquests prove it. They said it was an accident and their findings are now dismissed.”
As he emerged from the court, he said: “The most important thing is it is murder.”
Asked if there would be a court challenge to the verdict by means of a High Court judicial review, Mr Al Fayed’s press agent Michael Cole said: “That is a very difficult route but we are keeping all our options open.”