Witness describes holding Diana's hand

Updated: 2007-11-13 16:04

LONDON - A man testifying at an inquest Monday described holding Princess Diana's hand as she repeated "My God, my God" moments after her car crashed in Paris.

This image made available Wednesday Oct. 3, 2007, from evidence presented at the inquest into the death of Diana Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed is made from CCTV footage showing Diana, Princess of Wales with Dodi Fayed in the lift at the Ritz Hotel the afternoon before they both died. A man testifying at an inquest Monday, Nov. 12, 2007 described holding Princess Diana's hand as she repeated 'My God, my God' moments after her car crashed in Paris, Aug. 31, 1997. [Agencies] 

Abdelatif Redjil told the court investigating Diana's death that he and his friend Belkacem Bouzid were passing near the Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris on the night of Aug. 31, 1997, when they heard the sounds of a crash and ran inside to help.

In a statement read out to the jury, Redjil described opening the back door of the car and clasping the princess's hand.

"She repeated words like 'My God, my God,'" Redjil said. "I tried to reassure her, telling her in English 'Don't worry.'

"She opened her eyes but she didn't answer me, she simply continued moving her hand, I think she was unconscious."

Redjil described seeing a man he would later learn was Diana's boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, thrown against the rear left hand window. He also said he saw driver Henri Paul, apparently dead, his hand sticking out the window.

Diana, Fayed, and Paul all died after their Mercedes slammed into a pillar while being pursued by paparazzi. French and British police have concluded that driver Henri Paul, the acting security chief at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, was well over the legal alcohol limit.

Earlier Monday, an expert testifying at the inquest said the amount of alcohol consumed by Paul was not necessarily a factor in the crash.

John Searle, who was hired by the Ritz Hotel, said drinking was not necessarily relevant.

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