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Jurors see photos of dying princess.

Byline: By Laura Elston and John Bingham

GRAPHIC paparazzi photographs of the dying Diana, Princess of Wales, inside the wreck of her Mercedes were shown at her inquest yesterday.

The stark images, many shot within moments of the crash, capture the scene inside the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris on August 31, 1997.

Although the photographs have been heavily pixellated, the Princess's distinctive blonde hair, white trousers and dark jacket can be made out in several.

She is visible, curled on the floor of the car next to the passenger door with her head against the seat in front, facing backwards as off-duty doctor Frederic Mailliez struggles to save her life.

Diana's lover Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul were killed outright while the Princess died a few hours later. Bodyguard Trevor Rees Jones was the only survivor.

The pictures, most of which were from negatives seized by French police, were taken before the first emergency workers were on the scene.

The jury sitting at the High Court in London was told that photographers began taking pictures before anyone had even opened the doors to help.

Scores of images show the occupants inside the vehicle, with bystanders and photographers looking on.

Insp Paul Carpenter, of the Metropolitan Police, talked the jury through 144 pages of images - covering the crash scene as well as the couple's departure from the Ritz Hotel minutes earlier.

They included one of the last clear pictures of Diana, a shot taken by Jacques Langevin as she stepped into the Mercedes.

Mr Carpenter told the court that police had no photographs of the journey itself.

The use of any images from the scene of the crash has provoked intense controversy in the past.

Earlier this year Princes William and Harry were angered by the use of photographs in the Channel 4 documentary Diana: The Witnesses In The Tunnel.

In a letter to the broadcaster, their Private Secretary Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton said the Princes believed the pictures were a "gross disrespect" to their mother's memory.

Coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker declared that any photographs seen by the jury showing the victims would not be released in case anyone with hi-tech equipment was able to decode the pixellation.


MINUTES BEFORE TRAGEDY: A photo taken by Jacques Langevin and shown to the inquest into the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, captures the Princess minutes before she died.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 12, 2007
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