London: Dr Hasnat Khan, Princess Diana’s former lover, has demanded an investigation after Scotland Yard told him that his mobile number was found by hacking detectives.
The late Princess’ “Mr Wonderful” has spoken of his fury after being told by police his phone may have been hacked in the months before her inquest.
The 53-year-old heart surgeon said the disclosure left him feeling ‘robbed’.
Detectives told him that his name and mobile phone number were found in paperwork uncovered during the Operation Weeting phone hacking inquiry.
He used the phone until late 2007, when media speculation over whether he would ‘tell all’ at her belated inquest in March the following year was at its most intense.
“To know that someone has been listening to your private messages is awful,” the Daily Mail quoted Khan as saying.
“It is absolutely terrible. It feels as if you have been robbed. We live in the UK. We are supposed to have civil liberties. I feel really, really violated. I am very angry,” he said.
In a rare interview, Khan, a discreet figure who has resolutely avoided the limelight, also spoke of his dismay at royal author Penny Junor’s controversial new biography of Prince William, in which Diana is bluntly cast as manipulative and mentally ill.
Speaking from his home town of Jhelum in Pakistan, he said it was his belief that Junor was ‘rewriting history’.
“There is no way at all that Diana was mentally unstable. There is nothing wrong with expecting your husband to be faithful and being angry when he isn’t,” he said.
In particular, Khan said he was angered by Miss Junor’s assertion that Prince Charles resumed his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles only after his marriage foundered irrevocably.
“Diana had every reason to believe that Charles and Camilla never stopped seeing each other.
“There was no doubt about it in her mind at all,” she said.
He even revealed for the first time details of an extraordinary encounter between the Princess and Camilla.
“Camilla came up to her and said that Charles is going to propose to you.”
“She told Diana before Charles proposed to her. Afterwards, Diana thought, “Why did this woman know before me?” Obviously they were confiding.
“This is 100 percent what Diana told me. She thought it was very odd. I would be very surprised if I was going to marry someone and my fiancee’s ex-boyfriend came to me and said that,” he said.
Although he refused to give direct evidence to the Diana inquest, the jury heard the full statement he had given to British police four years earlier.
He didn’t expect to hear from Scotland Yard again, but in January this year he received a letter from officers at the Specialist Crime Directorate asking him to contact them.
He was told that his mobile number had been found and that he may have been hacked.
Further details were not forthcoming, but he was asked if he wanted police to investigate further. He was also given a phone number for an office set up by News Corporation – publishers of the News of the World – for victims of phone hacking.
Officers from Operation Weeting have contacted hundreds of phone hacking victims or likely targets after finding their names in notebooks seized from private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who worked for the now-defunct tabloid.
Now awaiting the outcome of the investigation, Khan said he would donate any compensation he might receive to a heart unit he is setting up to treat impoverished children in Pakistan, which is expected to open near Jhelum later this year.
“I will seek the maximum compensation I can get and I will give it towards the hospital we are building here,” he said.
It was this hospital that he and Diana dreamed of building together and now, 15 years after her death, their plans are finally coming to fruition.
“Diana was one of those people who didn’t just talk about things.
“She was proactive. She would go out and get it done. I think this hospital would be ten years old by now if she was alive. She did good things because she wanted to, not because of her status. She had an inner desire. It genuinely came from within her.
“You could tell. She didn’t want anything back.
“I have no doubt that Diana would have been involved in this. It wouldn’t have mattered whether we were together or not,” Khan said.
Just weeks before her death in 1997, he met Diana for the final, bittersweet time, at Battersea Park in South London. It was at this meeting that she ended their relationship.
He tried to telephone the Princess on August 30, the night before she died, but she had changed her telephone number and they would never speak again.
First Published: Sunday, May 13, 2012, 13:05