Duo for Di inquest

LONDON - Two people who reported having seen Princess Diana's speeding Mercedes shortly before it crashed were listed to testify yesterday at the inquest into her death.

LONDON - Two people who reported having seen Princess Diana's speeding Mercedes shortly before it crashed were listed to testify yesterday at the inquest into her death.

Thierry Hackett, who reported being overtaken at high speed by the Mercedes, and Oliver Partouche, who says he saw the car enter the Pont d'Alma tunnel, were expected to testify by video link from Paris.

The inquest in London is examining the deaths of Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi al-Fayed, in the crash on August 31 1997. Their driver, Henri Paul, also died.

On Wednesday, Antonio Lopes Borges and Ana Simao told of seeing a black Mercedes race away from a traffic light, pursued by other vehicles, and of seeing the same Mercedes minutes later, crumpled by a collision with a pillar in the tunnel.

Neither recalled seeing any motorcycles chasing the Mercedes, though other witnesses reported seeing them.

The inquest - required by British law when someone dies unexpectedly, violently or of unknown causes - had been delayed for 10 years because of the two exhaustive investigations by French and British police.

Both concluded that Paul was drunk, was driving too fast and that the deaths were an accident.

Al-Fayed's father, Mohamed al-Fayed, contends that the couple were the targets of a plot orchestrated by Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II. - Sapa-AP

X