Bodyguard doesn't remember circumstances of Diana crash
By NICOLAS MARMIE, Associated Press Writer, PARIS (AP)

Bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones, the sole survivor of the accident that killed Princess Diana, does not remember the circumstances of the crash, a judicial source said today.

The source spoke to The Associated Press after the judge investigating the case had his first meeting with Rees-Jones in the Paris hospital where he is recuperating.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, had seen the written report of Judge Herve Stephan's meeting with Rees-Jones. The source said the last thing Rees-Jones remembered was getting into the Mercedes at the Ritz Hotel the night of the crash.

Asked by the judge about the condition of driver Henri Paul, the bodyguard said Paul "seemed fine," the source said. Blood tests have shown that Paul was legally drunk at the time.

No further details from the meeting were immediately available.

Doctors had said all along that the large doses of anesthesia given to Rees-Jones during surgery, along with the trauma of the accident, might affect his memory.

The judge plans further meetings with Rees-Jones, and investigators clearly hope his memory might improve.

Investigators want Rees-Jones to shed light on the behavior of photographers trailing the car the night of the crash, and on Paul's condition. The Aug. 31 accident killed Diana, her companion Dodi Fayed, and the driver.

Rees-Jones, 29, a former British paratrooper, underwent surgery to reconstruct a smashed jaw and remained in intensive care. His family says he is able to communicate and sit out of bed for short periods, but tires quickly.

Paul's body was on its way to Brittany in western France today for a weekend burial in his hometown, three weeks after the accident.

A small dark van carrying the body left a Paris morgue this morning, a day before the burial in Lorient. The funeral, originally planned for the Saturday after the crash, had been postponed so more blood tests could be taken.

Three separate blood tests show that Paul, assistant security chief at the Ritz Hotel, had more than three times the legal level of alcohol in his system at the time of the high-speed crash in a Paris traffic tunnel.

The final blood test also showed Paul had ingested two prescription drugs, including the anti-depressant Prozac.

Meanwhile, the French tabloid France-Noir today published a photograph circulating on the Internet that purported to show Princess Diana dying in the mangled Mercedes.

But a spokesman for the French fire department's rescue squad, Cmdr. Philippe Lavoil, said the photo was a fake.

Lavoil said the uniforms of rescue workers in the photo do not match those of French rescuers. Also, a sign in the background clearly showing an emergency number -- 999 -- is not French, he said. French emergency numbers are two digits and do not begin with 9.

Nine photographers and a motorcycle courier have been placed under formal investigation in the crash -- a step short of being charged -- for manslaughter and failure to assist people in danger.




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