Queen Won't Testify in Diana Inquest

LONDON (AP) -- Britain's Court of Appeal on Tuesday rejected an attempt to question Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, at an inquest into the deaths of Princess Diana and her boyfriend.

The court did not immediately explain its reason for rejecting the application by businessman Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi died with Diana in the Aug. 31, 1997, car crash.

The ruling upheld an earlier decision by the coroner, Lord Justice Scott Baker, who said on March 7 that it would not be useful to put questions to the queen or Philip.

The court said it would not release the reasons for its decision until after the inquest jury had reached a verdict.

The ruling means no further witnesses will be called to testify at the inquest.

Tuesday was the last day that any witnesses were scheduled to appear at the inquest. In the coming weeks, lawyers are expected to make their arguments before the hearing closes at the end of next month.

The inquest began five months ago after a decade of British and French police investigations and French court proceedings that concluded the deaths were accidental.

More than 240 witnesses testified in the latest inquest, including Al Fayed, Diana's former butler Paul Burrell, and bodyguard Trevor Rees, the sole survivor of the crash.

Al Fayed has claimed that Philip was at the head of an establishment conspiracy to have the couple killed. Al Fayed and his attorney, Michael Mansfield, have charged that the car accident in a Paris tunnel was orchestrated by British intelligence agents to thwart the couple's plans to marry.

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