Source: Google Groups
French court orders retrial of Diana paparazzi trio
Wed Apr 13, 2005 07:19 PM BST
PARIS (Reuters) - Three photographers who took pictures of Princess
Diana and Dodi al Fayed on the night of their fatal crash must be
retried for breaching privacy laws, a French court ruled on Wednesday.
The court annulled a ruling made last September, which acquitted
Jacques Langevin, Christian Martinez and Eric Chassery of breaking the
laws, an offence punishable by up to a year in jail.
Dodi's father, Mohamed al Fayed, had appealed against the September
ruling, which followed an original court acquittal of the three
photographers in November 2003.
Diana, Dodi and chauffeur Henri Paul were killed on August 31, 1997
when their Mercedes car crashed in a tunnel as it sped away from the
Ritz hotel in the French capital with paparazzi photographers in hot
pursuit on motorbikes.
The photographers took pictures of the couple as they lay in their
crumpled Mercedes, as well as taking shots of them before the crash as
they left the Ritz.
The earlier rulings said the photos did not breach privacy because no
"intimate gestures" were caught on camera and because the pictures had
not made a secret liaison public.
France's Cour de Cassation, which decides whether an appeals court
decision conforms to the law, said on Wednesday these points had to be
reviewed, with the new trial only focusing on the photos taken at the
scene of the accident, not the hotel.
An inquiry by French authorities in 1999 ruled that the crash was
caused by Paul being drunk and driving too fast.
But the circumstances of the crash still cause controversy.
Al Fayed, owner of London store Harrods, wants the paparazzi punished
and has said he believes his son and Diana were murdered by British
secret services because their relationship was embarrassing the royal
John Stevens, a retired senior British police officer is investigating
allegations Diana's death was not an accident at the request of
Britain's Royal Coroner Michael Burgess.
Diana's marriage to Britain's heir to the throne Prince Charles broke
down in 1992 and ended in divorce. Charles married his longtime lover
Camilla Parker Bowles last Saturday.