'Fayed told me to lie about Diana pregnancy,' claims security man

Last updated at 22:24 23 January 2008

Mohamed al Fayed was at the

centre of a “conspiracy to

pervert the truth” over Princess

Diana, the inquest heard yesterday.

Reuben Murrell, head of

security at the Fayed-owned Villa

Windsor, claimed the Harrods boss

ordered him to fabricate a story

that Diana was pregnant with Dodi

Fayed's child and that they planned

to live together in the Duke of

Windsor's old home in the Bois de

Boulogne outside Paris.

Mr Murrell also told the jury

Mr Fayed had ordered him to

ensure that injured bodyguard

Trevor Rees should be

gagged from speaking to the press

until he had been “briefed”.

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al fayed

Mr Fayed's head of security

instructed Mr Murrell to go to the

Paris hospital after the crash to

put the cover-up into operation.

He was giving evidence at the

High Court today via a video-link

to the inquest into the 1997 car

crash which killed the princess,

Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul.

Mr Fayed has claimed that his

son and the princess planned to

live at the Villa Windsor but today

Mr Murrell said that when the

couple visited the house the day

before their crash, Diana had not

looked interested.

“I got the feeling that they were

flustered and she didn't seem

interested. Her body language

seemed a bit distracted,” he said.

Mr Murrell also said that after

the crash he was instructed by

Paul Handley-Greaves, Mr Fayed's

head of security, to ensure Mr

Rees-Jones remained silent.

Between two and four months

later Mr Murrell said he was asked

to show two American

journalists around the Villa Windsor.

He said he was told by David

Pinch, another of Mr Fayed's

personal security team, that he should

tell them that during Dodi and

Diana's visit they had been

accompanied by an Italian designer who

was to redecorate the house to

their taste and asked to indicate

that the princess was pregnant.

Mr Murrell said he was very

uncomfortable having to deal with

something that was “a pure


Richard Horwell QC,

representing the Met Commissioner, said:

“On behalf of Mohamed Al Fayed

you were being asked to rewrite


Mr Murrell replied: “I was being

asked to be part of something I

knew to be a falsification.”

Mr Murrell told the jury that

Dodi and Diana had spent just 26

minutes visiting the Villa Windsor.

Mr Horwell asked: “You were

being asked to pretend that Diana

and Dodi were interested in living

together at the Villa Windsor?”

Mr Murrell replied: “Yes.”