Diana's driver tipped off paparazzi

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The Independent Online
Henri Paul, driver of the car in which Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed, tipped off waiting photographers that she was about to leave the Ritz Hotel in Paris, sources close to the investigation said yesterday.

The allegation was made in a report given last month to Herve Stephan, the investigating magistrate leading the inquiry into the crash on 31 August, which also killed Diana's companion Dodi Al Fayed and Paul himself.

According to the report, Paul emerged from the hotel to tell the photographers that the party would be leaving in about 10 minutes.

The account appears to support the photographers' statements that their relations were relaxed with the members of Diana's party. Lawyers for the Al Fayed family had argued that photographers caused the crash by forcing the driver to take risks in order to escape.

It is believed that the report contains further evidence against Paul, confirming that he was drinking before the crash.

- Reuters, Paris