Three people charged with illegally taking photographs of British royal DIANA, Princess Of Wales and her lover DODI AL FAYED after their fatal car crash in Paris have been acquitted today (28NOV03).

Action was brought against paparazzi snappers Christian Martinez, FABRICE CHASSERY and Jacques Langevin after Dodi's father, Mohamed Al Fayed, filed a complaint and demanded a full public inquiry, but a Paris court has ruled they didn't break any privacy laws.

The lawsuit was launched on the grounds it's illegal to photograph the interior of a car under French law, and the three photographers faced a year-long prison sentence and fines up to $53,000 (GBP33,000) if found guilty.

Although Langevin's shots feature the tragic pair - whose chauffeur driven car was driving at high speeds to evade a pack of photographers - before they entered the tunnel in which they crashed, both Martinez and Chassery took pictures of them after the accident.

Similar cases against five other photographers have also been dropped in the time since the fatal 1997 crash, but businessman al Fayed launched the new investigation after Diana's former butler Paul Burrell revealed the Princess was convinced of a conspiracy to kill her in a car crash.

Fayed immediately announced his intention to appeal the decision, saying, "The paparazzi played a significant part in the tragedy and they should be punished. Accordingly, I have lodged an immediate appeal."

28/11/2003 17:21