A top jeweler says Dodi Fayed told him he and Diana, Princess of Wales, were getting engaged weeks before their deaths.
Alberto Repossi also says American spies would have known about the imminent announcement because they were bugging Dodi's calls.
Repossi, who has a shop opposite the Ritz Hotel in Paris owned by Dodi's father Mohamed Al Fayed, says Dodi made the revelation in a telephone call to discuss resizing a ring he had ordered.
He says he received a call from Dodi who told him he needed this ring for the end of August because their engagement would be announced at the beginning of September.
Repossi claims to have subsequently met the couple secretly in a hotel in St Tropez in the south of France to show them the ring and other jewellery which he thought the princess might be interested in.
But in evidence to Diana's inquest by video link from Paris, Repossi said he could not remember which hotel it was.
He says he didn't tell Scotland Yard investigators about the meeting because he had vowed not to speak about it, because he could not prove it had taken place and because a journalist was mean to him.