LONDON - The long-awaited British inquest into Princess Diana's death in a 1997 car crash in Paris resumed yesterday with two days of preliminary hearings at London's historic Royal Courts of Justice.
Baroness Elizabeth Butler- Sloss, a retired senior judge and a member of Britain's House of Lords, presided at the preliminary hearings, which are expected to be mostly procedural.
She will decide whether the case will be heard by a jury, and whether the deaths of Diana and her friend Dodi al Fayed should be examined separately or together.
The full inquest, which was swiftly adjourned in 2004 shortly after it began, is expected to take place later this year, nearly a decade after the famous couple were killed in a car crash in a Paris tunnel.
The inquest could not be held until all the investigations were completed.
A two-year French investigation, a three-year Metropolitan Police inquiry and repeated legal action by Fayed's father, Harrods department store owner Mohamed al Fayed, have delayed the inquests by nearly 10 years.
Under British law, inquests are held when someone dies unexpectedly, violently or of unknown causes.
Diana's former private secretary, Patrick Jephson, said yesterday that he hoped the inquest would put an end to conspiracy theories. - Sapa