Princess Diana's lover bought engagement ring, inquest hears

Other News Materials 19 October 2007 04:25

( AFP ) - Princess Diana's lover Dodi Fayed bought an engagement ring in a Parisian jewellery store hours before they died, an inquest into the pair's death heard on Thursday.

Fayed bought the 11,600-pound (16,600-euro, 23,700-dollar) ring from the "Dis-moi oui" store owned by Monte Carlo jeweller Alberto Repossi, which was found in his apartment after he died along with Diana in a car crash in a Paris underpass on August 31, 1997.

The jury was shown a copy of the receipt dated August 30, 1997, with the words "bague fiancaille", which means engagement ring in French, printed on it.

They were also shown unedited CCTV images of Fayed in the jewellery store, which is on the same square as the Ritz Hotel, where the pair were staying, and the images showed Fayed examining the ring in the store after it had closed to the public the afternoon he purchased it.

The CCTV images showed Fayed later returning to the couple's Imperial suite at the Ritz, where Diana spent the afternoon, holding only a brochure from the jewellery store.

Claude Roulet, an assistant to the hotel's president, is then seen in the footage returning to the store shortly afterwards to pick up an object in a bag which he then takes to the couple's suite.

The footage subsequently showed Roulet putting the bag in the Ritz's strong room, before Fayed and Diana leave the hotel for the last time.

Diana, ex-wife of heir to the throne Prince Charles, was killed alongside Fayed and their chauffeur Henri Paul in the high speed car crash.

Fayed's father Mohamed Al-Fayed, the millionaire owner of London's upscale Harrods department store, believes they were killed in a plot hatched by Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, and the British security services.

The plot was conceived because Diana, 36, was carrying Fayed's unborn child and the royal family did not want her to marry a Muslim, Al-Fayed claims.

The inquest started at the beginning of the month and is expected to last up to six months. It previously travelled to Paris for the jurors to see the scene of the crash and the Ritz hotel for themselves.