The behaviour of paparazzi photographers on the night Princess Diana died in a car crash in 1997 has been condemned by Princes William and Harry, according to media reports.
Lord Stevens’ inquiry ? whose findings have just been published – has found that the car crash, which also killed Princess Diana?s boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed, was a ?tragic accident?, according to BBC News this lunchtime.
The princes are understood to be shocked and upset at the way paparazzi acted on the 31 August 1997, having been briefed earlier on the findings of the UK investigation into the Paris car crash, conducted by former Metropolitan Police chief Lord Stevens.
Lord Stevens’ report notes that film seized from cameras of three of the photographers showed they were taking photographs of the car and/or the occupants ?almost immediately after arrival at the scene’ of the crash. It adds: ?Although some may regard the actions of the paparazzi at the scene to be morally questionable, there was no evidence that those arriving immediately after the crash, or those arriving later, deliberately interfered with attempts to save the passengers in the car or undertook any actions that showed that they were involved in a conspiracy to harm them.?
The report continues: ?There was no evidence to show that the actions of the paparazzi were anything other than their normal working practice and no evidence that showed they were involved in any criminal conspiracy.?
The report names a previously ?unidentified? photographer seen outside the Ritz Hotel as a Paris-based Irish freelance photographer called Colm Pierce. Investigators found no evidence to link this man to Britain?s secret service, as had been previously inferred.
Dismissing conspiracy theories, the report concluded: ‘There is no evidence that others took advantage of an environment created by the paparazzi. Neither is there evidence that any of the paparazzi, independently or in collusion with others, undertook actions in order to create an environment that allowed others to put into operation a plan to murder the Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed.?
The full report can be downloaded from the BBC News website at www.bbc.co.uk/news
The section relating to the paparazzi is contained in Chapter 3.
An inquest into the deaths is expected to resume next year.