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Cbs airs dying pictures of diana

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Thu 22 Apr 2004
4:39am (UK)
US TV Shows Dying Diana Pictures

By Mark Sage, in New York, and Laura Elston, PA News

Chilling images of a dying Diana, Princess of Wales, were controversially broadcast on television in the United States today.

The grainy black and white photocopies, from a French investigation report, showed Diana being treated by a doctor as she lay slumped in the back of her crashed car.

It was the first time that photographs of Diana, taken moments after the 1997 car crash in Paris, have been shown in public.

Diana had her eyes closed in the pictures which were confiscated by police from photographers at the scene.

The Princess died from internal injuries hours after the car slammed into the 13th pillar of the tunnel, while being followed by photographers.

The eerie pictures, shown for 10 seconds, were obtained by the CBS 48 Hours Investigates programme and were part of a confidential 4,000-page accident report compiled by French investigators.

The report appeared to dispel many of the conspiracy theories about the death of the world’s most photographed woman.

It concluded that her chauffeur, Henri Paul, was over the legal alcohol limit to drive and had taken a number of prescription drugs.

It found that the crash, which also killed Diana’s lover, Dodi Fayed, as well as Mr Paul, was an accident.

But it also revealed that Mr Paul had received tens of thousands of pounds in unexplained payments in the nine months before the accident.

Despite a search of his home and office, and the questioning of his friends and associates, the French investigators were unable to find the source of the payments.

The report included results of the post-mortem examination of Mr Paul and an analysis of the car.

The doctor seen in one of the pictures attending to Diana, Frederic Mailliez, told the programme: “As I approached the tunnel I saw smoke in the middle of the tunnel.

“I went to the wreckage to see what was going on inside.”

Describing Diana’s condition, he said: “I can tell you that her face was still beautiful. She didn’t have any injuries on her face.

“She was unconscious. She didn’t speak at all.”

Clarence House declined to comment on the broadcast.

The images will no doubt bring further distress to Princes William and Harry, who have faced continued conspiracy theories.

They also had to contend with old video footage of the Princess talking about her life being aired on US TV recently.

Dodi Fayed’s father, Mohamed al Fayed, has staged a lengthy legal battle against paparazzi photographers who were following Diana and Dodi that night for invasion of privacy.

He has maintained that Diana and his son were deliberately murdered, alleging that British intelligence agents were involved.

He accused CBS of cashing in on the tragedy.

He said: “This was a crime – the murder of two innocent people.

“CBS obviously don’t care about the appalling effect of showing images of murder victims.

“They simply want to cash in on the tragedy.

“It is disgraceful and insensitive of them to do this.

“It is devastating for me and for Prince William and Prince Harry.”

Virginie Bardet, the French lawyer who represented two photographers who were at the scene and who were later accused of “invading the intimacy of private lives” told the programme that she had seen the confidential investigation report.

She said: “The investigation is not to answer all the questions. It’s to know why did Lady Diana and Dodi Fayed die.

“And this question is answered... It was because the driver was drunk and was driving too fast.”

Diana’s former protection officer Ken Wharfe and Patrick Jephson, her chief of staff, were also interviewed on the show.

They told of the great lengths they went to to hide Diana’s marriage difficulties, and how she conducted her extra-marital affairs.

Mr Wharfe described how Diana told him she was having an affair with Army Major James Hewitt.

He said she told him: “You may or may not know it already, but I’m seeing a man called James Hewitt.”

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