WASHINGTON - The father of Dodi Fayed said Wednesday he will file suit in federal court to gain access to U.S. intelligence information about the deaths of Princess Diana and his son in a Paris automobile accident.
''Since that tragic day three years ago, I have not rested in my search for the truth,'' Mohamed Al Fayed said in a written statement read at a news conference.
Al Fayed, who owns Harrods department store in London, repeated his claim that the Aug. 31, 1997, deaths were a murder conspiracy plotted by people who disapproved of Diana's relationship with his son.
He said he was seeking documents from the CIA, the Justice Department and the National Security Agency, which he said monitored Diana's telephone conversations.
''The United States' intelligence gathering network, which through the most sophisticated satellite systems, allowed the NSA to spy on Diana,'' Al Fayed said. He charged that the agency gave files on the monitored conversations to British intelligence and still has over a thousand pages of documents concerning the crash.
''I believe they are withholding some of the documents at the request of the British secret services,'' Al Fayed said.
Neither Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller nor NSA spokeswoman Judi Emmel would comment, citing the pending litigation.
NSA officials acknowledged in 1998 that the agency had picked up mentions of Diana in its international electronic monitoring, but said those references were casual and incidental and that she was never a target of U.S. intelligence efforts.
In April, an appeals court rejected Al Fayed's request for the information, upholding the decision of a lower court judge who said Al Fayed had tried ''to make an end run around'' the Freedom of Information Act.
Al Fayed's lawyer, Mark Zaid, said the new Freedom of Information Act lawsuit would be filed in U.S. District Court in Washington on Thursday, the third anniversary of the crash. The lawsuit seeks information about more than 20 individuals and events related to the deaths, he said.
''No one suspects the U.S. government was involved'' in the accident, Zaid said. But he said that government might be withholding information.
The lawsuit also seeks CIA and Justice Department documents concerning Oswald LeWinter, who attempted to sell Al Fayed phony information about a murder plot against Diana and his son. LeWinter was convicted of attempted criminal fraud and sentenced to four years in an Austrian prison in 1998.
CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield also declined to comment on the specifics of the lawsuit because it hasn't yet been filed or reviewed.
''We understand Mr. Al Fayed's grief and tremendous sense of loss but any suggestion that the CIA spied on Dodi Fayed or Princess Diana, has knowledge of any plot to murder them, or had anything to do with this tragic accident is totally unfounded,'' Mansfield said.
Doubts already have been cast on a number of Al Fayed's allegations concerning Diana's death, including that a mysterious nurse heard last words from the princess and that Diana and Dodi Fayed planned to marry.
At the news conference, Zaid and John Macnamara, director of security for Harrods, showed security camera footage of Diana, Dodi Fayed and their driver Henri Paul before the accident, to dispute allegations that Paul was drunk. Paul also died in the crash and was found to have high levels of alcohol in his blood.
''We have a lot of unanswered questions, but without the cooperation of the United States government, I don't believe we ever will get'' the answers, Macnamara said.
Diana and Dodi Fayed died after they left the Ritz Hotel and set off at high speed in their chauffeured car, trying to elude photographers. Mohamed Al Fayed owns the Ritz and was Paul's employer.
Last September, Paris judge Herve Stephan dismissed charges against nine photographers and a press motorcyclist implicated in the accident. The judge's terse conclusion came in a one-page statement: Alcohol, drugs and excessive speed caused the crash that ended the life of the ''people's princess.''
A French court is expected to rule September 15 on an appeal by Al Fayed and Paul's family to reopen the crash investigation.