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Di's Last Moments: A Salute And A Flash

This image made available Thursday Oct. 4, 2007, from evidence presented at the inquest into the death of Diana Princes of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed is made from CCTV footage showing Diana with Fayed, rear right, with driver Henri Paul, foreground right, and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones in the lift at the Ritz Hotel in Paris shortly before Diana, Fayed and Paul died in Paris on August 31, 1997.
AP Photo/H.M. Coroner, HO
Striking images from a countdown to death: Princess Diana salutes her driver; the driver waves to paparazzi lurking at the back of the Ritz Hotel; officially declared drunk at the time, the driver squats to tie his shoes without so much as a wobble.

These decade-old scenes collected from 31 security cameras at the Hotel Ritz in Paris were shown Thursday to a jury that eventually must decide what, if anything, they signify about how the driver, the princess and her boyfriend came to die in a car crash.

Much of the imagery presented Thursday showed the growing crowd of photographers and bystanders at the front of the hotel hoping to see Diana with Dodi Fayed, her latest boyfriend.


Photos: Diana's Last Photos
The action, however, was at the back of the hotel at the service entrance, where Diana and Fayed are seen standing for seven minutes waiting for their car, his left arm protectively around her waist.

Henri Paul, the driver who died with the couple in the early hours of Aug. 31, 1997, is seen popping in and out of the service entrance, apparently looking for the car.


Timeline: Diana's Final Hours
As midnight approaches, an elaborate plan is in place. Decoy cars move to distract attention, reports CBS New correspondent Sheila MacVicar.

Minutes before the car arrives, he spots photographers Serge Benhamou and Jacques Langevin standing on the opposite side of the Rue Cambon. Paul waves, and goes back inside.

In another scene, he talks to the Diana and Fayed, and the princess responds with a left-handed salute. Once the car arrives, the couple jump in, Paul takes the wheel and they are off within seconds, pursued by photographers Benhamou, Langevin, David Odekerken and Fabrice Chassery.


Photos: Images From The Inquest
About 15 minutes later, Paul lost control in the Pont d'Alma tunnel. Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones was the only survivor.

Paul, the acting head of security at the hotel, is a key figure. French and British police both concluded that he had double the legal limit of alcohol in his blood, and lost control of the car as it raced ahead of pursuing photographers.

One of the puzzles of the night is why the couple had suddenly become so camera-shy.

"In all the years I traveled with Diana, the first thing I ever did if there was an intrusion, I always made my way to the paparazzi and said, 'What do you want here?'" former Royal Protection officer Ken Wharfe told MacVicar.

"They want thing one and only," said Wharfe. "A picture."

Fayed's father, Mohamed al Fayed, claims that Paul was a paid informer for French and British intelligence services, that he was not drunk, that blood tests were faked and that Paul was somehow induced to take the route that led to the tunnel.