The former head of MI6 denied yesterday that the British intelligence agency killed Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, in 1997.
Sir Richard Dearlove, who was MI6’s director of special operations at the time of Diana’s death in Paris, told a coroner’s inquest that MI6, the Secret Intelligence Service, didn’t assassinate anyone between 1994 and 1999, when he was director.
He also denied that MI6 mounted any operations against her or Fayed, including surveillance or bugging.
Dearlove also testified that an operation by rogue agents would have been impossible.
Fayed’s father, Mohamed Al Fayed, has accused MI6 of engineering the death of his son and the princess at the behest of Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
As director of special operations, Dearlove said it was his responsibility to sign off on any operation that would otherwise be illegal. The operation would then have to be approved by the foreign secretary, a senior member of the government.
Al Fayed’s assertion that Philip directed MI6 was “utterly ridiculous,” Dearlove said. There was no formal relationship between the agency and the prince, although Philip had visited the agency with the queen, he said.