Diana driver was 'steady on his feet'

**  FILE  ** Diana, the Princess of Wales smiles during her visit to Leicester England  in this May 27, 1997 file photo. The mounds of flowers are long gone from the gates of Kensington Palace, but the presence of Princess Diana lingers. it has been 10 years since Diana's death in a Paris car crash, when many Britons were poleaxed by grief for a vivacious and troubled woman who was at once princess, style icon, charity worker and tabloid celebrity. (AP Photo/Pool)
** FILE ** Diana, the Princess of Wales smiles during her visit to Leicester England in this May 27, 1997 file photo. The mounds of flowers are long gone from the gates of Kensington Palace, but the presence of Princess Diana lingers. it has been 10 years since Diana's death in a Paris car crash, when many Britons were poleaxed by grief for a vivacious and troubled woman who was at once princess, style icon, charity worker and tabloid celebrity. (AP Photo/Pool)

The driver blamed by police for Princess Diana's death appeared lively and steady on his feet shortly before he drove the princess and her companion on a short, fatal journey in Paris.

The driver blamed by police for Princess Diana's death appeared lively and steady on his feet shortly before he drove the princess and her companion on a short, fatal journey in Paris.

This according to security camera videos shown yesterday at a coroner's inquest.

Intriguingly, Henri Paul is also seen waving to two paparazzi who had rumbled a plan to sneak the princess and her boyfriend Dodi Fayed out of the rear service entrance of the Ritz Hotel.

The images, taken during the last two hours before the crash, were shown yesterday to jurors who must decide whether the couple's deaths on August 31 1997, resulted from an accident or murder.

Paul, the acting head of security at the hotel, is a key figure. French and UK 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.

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

Michael Mansfield, a lawyer representing al Fayed, asked Metropolitan Police Inspector Paul Carpenter whether he had found any images of Paul speaking to paparazzi after the time Paul had asked a hotel employee to bring a car to the back of the hotel.

Carpenter said he had found none. - Sapa

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