Di’s driver ‘taunted’ photogs to create “diversion” prior to crash: Witness

November 14th, 2007 - 3:04 am ICT by admin  
Stephane Darmon, the driver to photographer Romuald Rat, said that Henri Paul “wanted to be centre stage” as the paparazzi waited for Diana and her boyfriend to come out of the hotel.

Darmon also said that Paul had the tell-tale signs of being an alcoholic.

Speaking via video link from Paris, Darmon described how Mr Paul spoke to photographers outside the front of the hotel, where they had gathered to try to take pictures of the Princess and Dodi Fayed.

“He was playing a game with the photographers. He was saying Lady Di is going to be there in about a quarter of an hour etc. I think that he wanted to give wrong leads to photographers,” The Sun quoted Darmon, as saying.

“He seemed to be very joyful. On a very personal note, I’ve got to say, my father was an alcoholic. When I saw Mr Paul, he reminded me of my father, his eyes, the way he acted, that’s what I thought,” he added.

The jury have already seen CCTV footage from the Ritz, which shows Paul leaving the hotel and walking over to waiting photographers.

Darmon said that after a wait at the Ritz, there was a “strange sort of stunt” in front of the hotel.

“Mr Paul was…trying to create an atmosphere of pressure and anticipation. He wanted to be centre stage. I think it was his idea to create the diversion move,” he said.

The inquest also heard from two other witnesses, who identified a former security guard as the driver of a white Fiat Uno, which was seen emerging from the tunnel where the crash happened.

Georges and Sabine Dauzonne both picked out Le Van Thanh as the man they saw “driving erratically” out of the Alma underpass and checking his rear-view mirrors as if “bothered” by something behind him.

“I thought he was drunk. My first impression was it was Saturday night at half past midnight in Paris, I thought someone drunk was driving that car - then I realised he was doing something with a mirror,” Georges said.

The couple were shown a series of photographs, which also included photographer James Andanson, the man Mohamed al Fayed believes was at the wheel, but neither picked him out. (ANI)

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