Di was convinced her phone calls were monitored

November 22nd, 2007 - 3:57 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 22 (ANI): Princess Diana “clearly” believed her calls were being monitored in the months before her death, her former private secretary has said.

The ongoing inquest into her death has heard that the princess was so sure about her telephone calls being tapped in the months before her death that she changed her numbers frequently.

Michael Gibbins, who worked for the princess in the last year of her life, told her inquest that he had detected disapproval by royal officials of the relationships she had.

Giving cautiously worded statement to the court investigating the deaths of Diana and her lover Dodi al-Fayed, Gibbins also said some of the causes she espoused like the anti-landmine campaign had caused concern.

British and French police investigations have concluded that Diana and Dodi died because their chauffeur, Henri Paul, was drunk and drove too fast through a Paris road tunnel where it crashed into a pillar.

Dodi’s father, Harrods owner Mohamed al-Fayed, says Diana and his son were killed by British security services acting on the orders of Prince Philip, Queen Elizabeth’s husband and Diana’s former father-in-law.

Michael Mansfield, the lawyer acting for Dodi’s father, asked Gibbins “Did the Princess, or for that matter anyone else, ever communicate to you that one of her concerns was that her phone calls and other communications were being monitored?”

He replied: “She never expressed that concern, but her actions were such, in terms of changing telephone numbers, that it was clear that that was a concern to her, yes.

“I was never directly asked to report on her movements and certainly never did so,” he added.

Gibbins described the atmosphere of shock and grief spreading through Kensington Palace, Diana’s London residence, after her sudden and violent death on August 31, 1997.

“Everyone was very upset indeed. The telephones were constantly ringing from all sorts of places, Times Online quoted Gibbins, as saying.

Gibbins agreed that there was disapproval both in the press and from the royal household of Diana’s relationships with men.

Among those listed by Mansfield were England rugby captain Will Carling, her police bodyguard, Barry Mannakee, ex-cavalry officer James Hewitt, James Gilbey, who famously called her Squidgy in a phone conversation and art dealer Oliver Hoare.

Upon being asked if he was aware that the disapproval was not just in the tabloid press, but was coming from the Royal Household, Gibbins replied, “I am not sure that I was directly aware of that, but by inference certainly.” (ANI)

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