The US Central Intelligence Agency dismissed as baseless last night an uncorroborated suggestion that it might have plotted to kill Princess Diana. "The assertion that the CIA played any role in the death of Princess Diana is ludicrous," said Mr Tom Crispell, a spokesman, in a telephone call initiated by the agency.
The CIA's denial followed the arrest in Austria of a man allegedly seeking to obtain $15 million from the father of Diana's friend, Dodi Fayed. The suspect, a 67-year-old man whose name was withheld, had been peddling documents which purported to be evidence of a supposed murder plot, by implication involving British and US intelligence.
Fayed's father, Mr Mohamed Al Fayed, owns Harrods department store in London. The store said yesterday that its security chief, Mr John Macnamara, had been investigating the purported existence of documentary evidence of a plot to kill Diana and her companion.
"The case follows a two-week enquiry by Mr Macnamara in Washington and Vienna into allegations that British Intelligence sought the help of the CIA in a plot to assassinate Diana," Harrods said.