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Last Updated: Friday, 5 October 2007, 08:40 GMT 09:40 UK
Diana last moments shown in court
Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed
CCTV footage shows the princess and Mr Al Fayed holding hands

The final loving moments shared by Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed before their fatal car crash have been shown to the inquest into their deaths.

CCTV footage seen by the jury showed the couple cuddling at the rear exit of the Ritz Hotel in Paris.

The court was also shown footage of driver Henri Paul waving and speaking to photographers before the crash.

Diana, Mr Al Fayed and Mr Paul died as a result of the collision in a Paris tunnel on 31 August, 1997.

In the latest CCTV images shown to the High Court inquest, Ritz security staff and Diana's bodyguards are seen preparing to avoid a group of paparazzi gathered outside the front of the hotel.

Decoy plan

The court heard how they hatched a plan to use two decoy vehicles which would leave from the front of the hotel, while the couple would leave from the rear of the building.

An Australian tourist's seven-minute home video, also revealed in court, captured a "dummy run" of the decoy plan, which saw photographers on mopeds chasing after the two cars.

Mr Paul was also seen speaking to some of the paparazzi at the front of the hotel and later waving at other photographers at the rear.

Henri Paul waving outside the Ritz hotel
Driver Henri Paul was seen waving at the rear of the hotel

The jury was told that during the two hours before the princess and Mr Al Fayed left the hotel, Mr Paul went five times to Place Vendome, where the paparazzi were gathering outside the front of the hotel.

Some time later, Mr Paul and bodyguard Trevor Rees are captured on the hotel's CCTV waiting at the rear of the building for the Mercedes S280 saloon, which was leased by the hotel and was to take the couple to Mr Al Fayed's apartment.

The princess and Mr Al Fayed are then seen running across the road to their waiting car and Diana shields her face as the vehicle is pursued by photographers.

It was just minutes after leaving the hotel that the Mercedes crashed as it entered the underpass under the Place d'Alma.

Mr Al Fayed and Mr Paul died at the scene, while Diana died later of her injuries.

Earlier, the court was told how Mr Paul, who worked at the Ritz as acting head of security, went off duty at 1900 on the night of August 30.

But when the princess and Mr Fayed returned to the hotel three hours later followed by paparazzi photographers, he was asked to come back.

'Two Ricards'

The inquest was shown further CCTV images showing Mr Paul returning at 2205.

He was seen walking into the hotel's Bar Vendome to join bodyguards Mr Rees and Kes Wingfield.

On Wednesday, coroner Lord Justice Scott Baker confirmed Mr Paul had ordered two Ricards - an aniseed spirit - after his return to the hotel.

He went on to ask: "But had he had anything more to drink between 1900 and 2200?

"In that period, he would perhaps have been entitled to assume that he would not be coming back to work that evening."

Blood sample claims

The coroner previously told the jury there was differing evidence as to whether Mr Paul was drunk.

He said that while blood samples indicated he was over the UK drink-drive limit, witnesses that night reported seeing no obvious sign of intoxication.

Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, has always insisted Mr Paul was not drunk and that the blood samples were switched as part of a secret service plot to murder the princess and his son.

The 11 jurors will visit Paris to see the crash scene on Monday and Tuesday next week.

The inquest, being held at London's Royal Courts of Justice, could last for up to six months.



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