Royalty and statesmen

Mr Khan, whom the Princess once described as "the love of my life", is to give evidence at the inquest into her death via a written statement
Photo: Rex
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Diana's heart surgeon love to give written statement to inquest

8 JANUARY 2008
The man who the late Princess Diana described to friends as the "love of my life" is to give evidence at the inquest into her death. Hasnat Khan, a renowned heart surgeon, will not testify in person but is preparing a written statement to be read out. He dated Diana for two years following her divorce and prior to her relationship with Dodi Al-Fayed.

While it is not yet known what will be included in the statement, the 48-year-old is thought to be privy to Diana's views on the royal family and the inside story over her collapsed marriage to Prince Charles.

He first spoke about their relationship during Lord Steven's inquiry into Diana and Dodi's tragic deaths. He revealed she had considered moving to Pakistan with him after he told her it was the "only way he could see them having any sort of a normal life together". The Princess apparently considered the option for a while.

He also said that at the end of 1996 or beginning of 1997 Diana asked her butler Paul Burrell to talk to a priest about them marrying in secret.

The news that Mr Khan is to testify came as a luxury car dealer Rodney Turner, who supplied the Princess' BMWs, told the inquest her relationship with Dodi was over two weeks before the fatal Paris car crash. She reportedly told Mr Turner she was having a "fun summer" after returning from a holiday with Dodi in the South of France in August 1997, but said: "It's all over now (with Dodi)". He admitted to being surprised by her comments, as she was preparing to go on another Mediterranean cruise with him the following week.

Perhaps the most sensational recent development in the inquest, however, is the revelation that Diana's bedroom was possibly being bugged, two years after her split from the Prince of Wales. Grahame Harding, a former soldier and electronic surveillance expert who had been asked by Diana to check her Kensington Palace apartment for listening devices, found a suspected bug behind a wall in her bedroom.

Mr Harding was introduced to Diana by the Duchess of York in 1993. A year later she asked him to sweep her apartment for bugs four times over four months in 1994. "My equipment detected an electronic signal which indicated that a possible bugging device may have been present behind a wall in her bedroom," he told the jury. "Princess Diana was present when I found this signal."

He explained he was unable to get behind the wall to examine the device, saying that when he swept the room later that day the signal had gone. "It could have been innocent electronic equipment in another room," he said. "But the noise behind the wall was very similar to a transmitter device." He also provided the Princess with 'clean' new mobile phones, because she feared hers were being bugged. Diana never told Mr harding whom she suspected was spying on her, referring only to "dark forces" at work.


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