Channel 4 continues to defend its plan to broadcast a documentary featuring a controversial photograph of the Princess of Wales in the aftermath of the 1997 car crash in which she died.

Channel 4?s PR office has supplied us with a copy of the statement it released on Sunday in response to an article in the Observer newspaper that heavily criticises plans to publish the picture.

The Observer article claimed that friends of the Princess were ?furious? at the decision to broadcast the documentary, which is reported to include a picture of Diana receiving oxygen from a French doctor.

TV bosses plan to go ahead with the controversial show – Diana: The Witnesses In The Tunnel – which is due to be broadcast on 6 June.

The Channel 4 statement in full, as supplied to Amateur Photographer magazine, reads:

?The article in today?s [Sunday?s] Observer is both misleading and inaccurate as much of it is based on the views and opinions of people who have not actually seen the film.

?The death of Diana, Princess of Wales has been a defining moment in British contemporary history affecting the public?s view of the monarchy and of celebrity photographers – the paparazzi. There is genuine public interest in exactly how events unfolded in the hour or so immediately after the crash.

?C4 has carefully and sensitively selected the pictures used in the programme. These photographs are an important and accurate eyewitness record of how events unfolded after the crash. We acknowledge that there is great public sensitivity surrounding pictures of the victims and these have not been included. Some photographs will be of the scene inside the tunnel but in none of the pictures is it possible to identify Diana or indeed any of the crash victims.

?Only one image shows the occupants of the car after the crash and it has been appropriately obscured to avoid any unwarranted intrusion into their privacy or that of their families. This photograph [with occupants blanked out] has featured in the British press previously when The Sun published it on 14 July 2006.

?We are confident that once people have seen this film they will agree that it is a well-made and responsible documentary.

?This programme comes from the channel?s history department which has very substantial experience of producing contemporary history programmes that present eyewitness accounts of events in a considered, responsible and balanced fashion.?