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Al Fayed sues U.S. government seeking information on deaths of son and Princess Diana
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorneys for Mohamed Al Fayed filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking documents related to the deaths of Al Fayed's son, Dodi, and Britain's Princess Diana. Al Fayed has maintained the deaths were part of a conspiracy to prevent the couple from marrying.
Fayed lawyer Mark Zaid said Wednesday he is suing the U.S. government, particularly the intelligence community, under the Freedom of Information Act to get secret U.S. documents and tapes that could shed lights on the deaths that shocked the world. The lawsuit will be filed in federal court in the District of Columbia.
Thursday marks the third anniversary of the Paris car crash that killed Dodi, Diana and the driver of Mercedes, Henri Paul. French authorities say Paul was drunk and driving fast, causing the crash. A French judge closed the crash investigation in September 1999.
The lawsuit names the National Security Agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, the departments of justice, state and defense, among others.
"The effort of the lawsuit and purpose is to obtain any information from the United States government. There is clearly, and we know for a fact, information in its possession, some of which is quite suspicious," Zaid said after a news conference Wednesday to announce the filing of the lawsuit.
"Whether or not that ties into a conspiracy theory is going to have to be left up to everyone who reads those documents, assuming the United States government ever agrees to release them," he added.
For example, the NSA has tapes of telephone conversations between the couple, Zaid alleged, adding that Fayed wants to know why.
Fayed said in a written statement that the NSA has more than 1,000 pages of information on Diana and Dodi. He also alleged that the agency has "apparently" shared secret information with MI6, the British intelligence agency.
Zaid said he is not accusing the United States of being involved in the deaths. But he accused the United States of withholding information that could shed light on the deaths.
In a written statement, Fayed reiterated his belief that the deaths resulted from a conspiracy.
"The car crash that took the lives of these two lovely people has been portrayed as a traffic accident caused by a drunk driving at high speed. The reality is that it was murder," Fayed wrote.
He wrote that Britain's royalty "would never have accepted my son, a naturally tanned, curly-haired Egyptian, being married to the mother of the future king of England and becoming his stepfather."
The U.S. denies any involvement in the deaths. CIA spokesman Tom Crispell said the agency has not seen the lawsuit yet. He characterized as "totally unfounded" any suggestion that the CIA spied on Dodi and Diana or knew of any plot to assassinate the pair.
Fayed, who owns the luxury department store Harrods in London, has tried to obtain the U.S. information previously through subpoenas in the District of Columbia and nearby Maryland. Now he is filing a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act to get the same information.
One year later, Diana's life and death remembered
Official site of the British Monarchy
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