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Tabloids sought lip-readers to spy at funeral

sign language graphic September 4, 1997
Web posted at: 8:53 a.m. EDT (1253 GMT)

LONDON (CNN) -- A leading charity for the deaf on Thursday rejected a request by two tabloid newspapers that it provide professional lip-readers to note down the royal family's private conversations during Princess Diana's funeral.

The Royal National Institution for Deaf People (RNID) said it was inappropriate for lip-readers to invade the privacy of others and condemned the request.

"Lip-readers work under a very strict code of ethical conduct. This would breach this code. Under no circumstances would we allow any of our lip-readers to do this," said Tim Sargeant, a spokesman for the institution.

He would not identify the two tabloids.

Diana's funeral will take place in Westminster Abbey on Saturday before she is buried at her family's estate in central England.

It is unlikely that lip-readers would be able to decipher any conversations because television coverage of the funeral isn't expected to include close-ups of the royal family.


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