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Originally published Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 7:40 AM

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Harrods owner Al Fayed won't face sex charges

Harrods department store owner Mohamed Al Fayed will not face charges over an allegation he sexually assaulted a teenage girl, British prosecutors said Tuesday.

LONDON —

Harrods department store owner Mohamed Al Fayed will not face charges over an allegation he sexually assaulted a teenage girl, British prosecutors said Tuesday.

Prosecutors said police conducted a thorough investigation, including taking statements from a number of people, but there wasn't a solid case to be made against Al Fayed.

"Having reviewed those statements and other material submitted to us we concluded that, in the light of the conflicting evidence and the absence of sufficiently reliable accounts of crucial events, there was no realistic prospect of conviction," prosecutor Rene Barclay said.

Al Fayed had previously denied kissing a 15-year-old girl at his exclusive London store last May.

"The investigation has reached an obvious and proper conclusion," he said Tuesday.

But he criticized police and the British media.

"It cannot be right that an accused person is publicly named before proceedings are brought," Al Fayed said. "Now I know how distressing it is to be victimized in this way. I intend to fight to ensure that others on the receiving end of false allegations are properly protected."

Al Fayed's son Dodi Fayed was in a relationship with Princess Diana. The couple died in a car crash in Paris in 1997.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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