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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 April 2004, 13:39 GMT 14:39 UK
Family's shock over Diana images
Diana Princess of Wales
The US network has copies of the confidential French investigation
The brother of Diana, Princess of Wales says he was "shocked and sickened" by the broadcast of photographs of his dying sister on American television.

The pictures, taken moments after the Paris car crash in which she died, were shown by US network CBS in a programme looking at the accident.

Lord Spencer expressed his revulsion in a statement on behalf of the family.

Former Buckingham Palace spokesman Dicky Arbiter said it was "particularly bad taste" for CBS to run the pictures.

'Insensitivity'

Tony Blair said the action was distasteful and could cause "distress to her family".

Mr Arbiter told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme: "It will be painful, painful for William and Harry.

HAVE YOUR SAY
It shows contempt for the feelings of the relatives
Terry Emerson, London

"They're going to have to live with this sort of thing for the rest of their lives."

Clarence House, the residence of the Prince of Wales and his sons, has declined to comment on the broadcast.

Defending its decision to show the images, CBS said: "These photocopies are placed in journalistic context - an examination of the medical treatment given to Princess Diana just after the crash - and are in no way graphic or exploitative."

CBS said the images, which had not been broadcast before, were part of a 4,000-page French government report the broadcaster recently obtained.

'Instantly recognisable'

One of the pictures taken by paparazzi photographers at the scene - included in the official crash report - showed her head in the car.

BBC Royal correspondent Peter Hunt said CBS showed the black-and-white images for just 15 seconds during the one-hour documentary.

But, he said, Diana was "instantly recognisable" from a picture of the side of her head.

Princes William and Harry
Princes William and Harry at their mother's funeral

British newspapers had previously decided not to publish the photographs, he added, on the grounds of taste and decency.

Mohamed Al Fayed, whose son Dodi also died in crash, accused CBS of cashing in on the deaths.

He has never accepted the finding of the official report by the French that the crash was an accident.

He said: "CBS obviously doesn't care about the appalling effect of showing images of murder victims. They simply want to cash in on the tragedy. "It is disgraceful and insensitive of them to do this. It is devastating for me and for Prince William and Prince Harry."

Film plans

Mr Al Fayed has staged a lengthy legal battle against paparazzi photographers, who were following Diana and Dodi, for invasion of privacy.

The French inquiry in 1999 blamed Diana's chauffeur, Henri Paul, concluding he had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs and had been driving too fast on the trip from the Ritz Hotel to Mr Al Fayed's Paris apartment.

However, interest in the tragedy remains high, with French producers planning to make a feature film about it.

The novel by French author Laurence Close, The 31st of August 1997, is being adapted for the big screen and is due for release next year.

It is a fictionalised account about the mystery driver of a Fiat Uno which is believed to have clipped Diana's Mercedes moments before it crashed in the Pont d'Alma tunnel.




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