PARIS: 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 today.
he 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
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
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 household.
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
Diana's marriage to Britain's heir to the throne Prince Charles brok down
in 1992 and ended in divorce. Charles married his long time lover
Camilla Parker Bowles last Saturday.