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Britons believe foul play behind Di’s death

London, Aug. 31 (PTI): Over a quarter of Britons believe Princess Diana was murdered, an opinion poll published today, the sixth anniversary of her death in a Paris car crash, indicated.

According to the poll published in the Sunday Express, about 27 per cent of the respondents said Diana was the victim of a sinister plot. Other results in the poll highlight the deep unease felt by the nation about what really happened to the people’s princess on the night of August 31, 1997.

The country is deeply divided over whether there was a cover-up of the circumstances surrounding Diana’s death — 49 per cent think there was. And half want a fresh inquiry into the tragedy. The other half feel no need for such a hearing, which may suggest the public wants to let the princess rest in peace.

Researchers from NOP conducted 1,002 telephone interviews across Britain for the poll. The results were weighed to be demographically representative of the whole population.

Diana died when a Mercedes S280 limousine carrying her and her lover Dodi Fayed, 42, ploughed into the wall of a tunnel. Two days ago, hopes that the mysteries which still surround the crash would finally be unravelled were dashed.

A spokesperson for the royal coroner Michael Burgess had initially said the date for an inquest into how 36-year-old Diana died would be announced this week. Hours later, there was a u-turn and burgess ordered the statement be withdrawn. He said it was “premature” to suggest a date for the hearing and refused to give any timescale to suggest roughly when it might be held.

An investigation by France’s highest court dismissed manslaughter charges against nine paparazzi photographers who had been tailing Diana’s limousine as it crashed. A judge blamed chauffeur Henri Paul for the tragedy, concluding he had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs before climbing behind the wheel of the mercedes and then lost control as he was speeding.

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