Key French paparazzo witness willing to give evidence at Di inquest

November 24th, 2007 - 4:07 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 24 (ANI): The ongoing inquest into the death of Princess Diana is set to hear a dramatic evidence from a key witness accused of snubbing the investigation till now.

According to reports, French paparazzi photographer Romuald Rat, the first photographer on the scene of the crash in the Alma underpass in Paris ten years ago, could take the stand as early as Tuesday, i.e. Nov 27.

The 36-year-old snappers testimony is crucial to the 10million pound inquiry.

However, until now the inquest has been told that Rat will not be appearing, with the jury hearing last month that, despite extensive efforts, the French police could not find anything relating to Rats whereabouts.

But now, an exclusive investigation by British newspaper The Sun smashed the claim by tracking Rat down via the French TV station where he now works.

Rat told the newspaper that he had never been asked to appear to testify, but indicated via his solicitor that he is willing to give evidence now.

According to sources, Rat is eager to dispute claims that he took photos of the dead and dying crash victims, including Diana, 36, and tried to sell them.

Its easy to criticise us but no effort has been made to get us to court. I want to help. Ive had enough of all the lies, and want the truth to come out. If this means appearing at the inquest, then its what Ill do, The Sun quoted Rat, as saying.

A source close to the inquest said: The Sun exposed the claims of the French authorities as a farce. Rat has been angered by allegations about him in court. This convinced him to come forward and testify. It is hoped his decision paves the way for other witnesses who have so far refused.

Rat is expected to tell the court how he checked Dianas pulse and covered her lover Dodi Fayeds body minutes after the smash on August 31, 1997.

His surprising evidence has been supported by French police evidence including mobile phone records and medics statements. (ANI)

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