Diana paparazzi breached privacy, court rules
February 22, 2006
Three photographers have been convicted of breaching French privacy laws on the night Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed died in a car crash in 1997.
The snappers were given a token fine of one euro under a ruling announced earlier today by a Paris appeals court – overturning earlier judgments and marking the end of a long legal battle for Jacques Langevin, Christian Martinez and Fabrice Chassery.
Diana and Dodi, her boyfriend, died on 31 August 1997 when their Mercedes car crashed in a Paris tunnel after leaving the city?s Ritz Hotel pursued by the paparazzi on motorbikes.
In 2003 the three were acquitted of breaching privacy laws when judges deemed that a crashed vehicle on a public highway is not a private area.
But in the latest ruling the appeals court decided that they had invaded the couple?s privacy when they took pictures of the couple leaving the Ritz Hotel and later in their car after the fatal crash in Alma underpass.
In 2002 formal manslaughter charges against them and six other photographers were dropped after a French investigation into the causes of the accident.
The sum raised from the fine will be given to Dodi?s father Mohamed Al Fayed who had taken legal steps to refer the case to the country?s highest court.