Diana's butler asked to return to court

February 22, 2008 6:26:31 PM PST
The coroner overseeing the inquest into Princess Diana's 1997 death on Friday called her butler back to court to explain inconsistencies in his testimony. Lord Justice Scott Baker asked Paul Burrell to return to explain statements published by The Sun newspaper in which he purportedly says he did not tell the full truth to the inquest investigating the Paris car crash that killed Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed.

"The coroner has asked Mr. Burrell to return to court to explain discrepancies" between his testimony and reports in tabloid, Britain's judiciary said in a statement.

The Sun obtained what it said was a videotape of Burrell boasting about how he withheld information from the judge during his testimony.

"Do you honestly think I've told everything I know?" The Sun quoted Burrell as saying in its transcript of the video. "Of course I haven't."

Burrell, Diana's butler, was also one of her confidants.

The author of two books about the princess's life, Burrell gave three days of often contradictory testimony last month.

He told the inquest jury that he and Diana shared a secret, but he couldn't remember what it was. He later said the secret might have been a planned trip abroad, but claimed not to remember when she shared it with him. He also said he did not know whether the princess was engaged to Fayed before she died.

He spoke of his experience before the inquest as "confusing," "ghastly," and "horrid," but the video published by The Sun, and later handed to the coroner, suggested some of the confusion may have been deliberate.

"I was very naughty and I made a couple of red herrings," The Sun quoted him as saying. "I couldn't help doing it."