updated 10/13/2006 4:37:21 PM ET 2006-10-13T20:37:21

A court Friday threw out charges against a British photographer accused of invasion of privacy for taking and publishing intimate photos of Princess Diana and her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed, shortly before they were killed in a 1997 car crash.

Mohammed Al Fayed, Dodi's father, brought the case against photographer Jason Fraser over pictures of the couple on a yacht owned by the Egyptian billionaire off Portofino, Italy.

In a court hearing last month, state prosecutor Alexandre Aubert argued the yacht constituted "a private place in which two people were surprised in their intimacy" — and urged the court to convict Fraser.

The Paris criminal court dropped the charges. Details of the court's reasons were not immediately available, nor whether prosecutors or Al Fayed would appeal.

The photos made headlines across Britain in the last few days of August 1997, helping confirm the public image that Diana and Dodi Fayed were companions.

Diana, Fayed and their driver Henri Paul all died when their car crashed at high speed in the Pont d'Alma tunnel in the French capital on Aug. 31, 1997.

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