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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 February 2006, 19:11 GMT
Convictions for Diana paparazzi
Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed
Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed died on 31 August 1997
Three photographers have been convicted of breaching France's privacy laws for taking pictures of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed on the night they died.

A symbolic fine of one euro was imposed on Jacques Langevin, Fabrice Chassery and Christian Martinez at the end of the long-running legal case.

The French paparazzi were cleared after trials in 2003 and 2004.

The case was then referred to the country's highest court after a move by Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed.

The Cour de Cassation quashed the acquittal by a Paris appeals court and referred the case back to it for a review.

This lovely couple were murdered, with the paparazzi being used as a cover for the murder and sooner or later I will succeed in exposing the full facts
Mohamed Al Fayed

The appeals court imposed the fine on 17 February after ruling the photographers had, after all, broken French law, justice officials announced.

The sum will be paid to Mr Al Fayed, the millionaire owner of London's Harrods department store.

The men were also ordered to pay for notices of the convictions in three publications of Mr Al Fayed's choice.

Mr Al Fayed welcomed the outcome, saying the ruling cast the French investigation into the deaths into doubt.

In a statement, Mr Al Fayed, who believes the couple were murdered, said each battle he fought brought him "a step nearer to the truth".

In a statement, he said: "This lovely couple were murdered, with the paparazzi being used as a cover for the murder, and sooner or later I will succeed in exposing the full facts, and the people who committed such a horrendous crime."

Crash scene

Proceedings were launched in the wake of the deaths in Paris on 31 August 1997.

The photographers had taken pictures of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed as they left the Ritz Hotel and in their Mercedes after the crash that killed them in Alma underpass.

The photographers were originally acquitted in a November 2003 ruling by a lower court. They were also cleared at an appeal ruling against the acquittal in September 2004.

But the latest appeals court ruling found Diana and Mr Al Fayed's privacy had been invaded on both occasions.

The main French investigation on the causes of the accident was closed in 2002, putting an end to formal manslaughter inquiries brought against nine photographers and a press motorcyclist.

Investigators blamed the crash on driver Henri Paul who was found to have been drinking before driving at high speed.

Former Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir John Stevens is currently conducting an investigation into the accident for the UK coroner who will carry out inquests into the deaths.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Details of the long legal battle



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