Watches, Walking Sticks, Hummers and Handguns

Two karaoke machines, 43 watches worth more than $700,000, a $25,000 trip to the Swarovski shop in Vienna — these are just some of the items mentioned in a court case that has London's diplomatic and media circles buzzing.

And the Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawwaf bin Abdul Aziz, is at the center of it.

A British court handed down a judgment against the 54-year-old ambassador saying he ignored an order to reimburse Walid El Hage, his former private secretary, for $6 million in bills el Hage says he rang up on orders from his ex- boss.

A Yen for the Exotic

Although the amount spent is astronomical by most standards, what is especially noteworthy is the sheer variety of expenses supposedly run up by the ambassador, a nephew of the Saudi King Abdullah.

There are the expected bills for hotel rooms, flight tickets and assorted travel expenses. But the shopping list also includes some rather unconventional and expensive items.

There are the 34 antique walking sticks, valued at $68,000. Then there are the ivory tusks, ivory sword, bow and arrow that reportedly cost more than $70,000.

In addition, a bevy of pets were reportedly purchased, including a parrot, a mynah bird and even a Persian chinchilla cat, complete with cages and pet food costing $6,856.

Luxury at Any Cost

A visit to the French designer Jeanne Lanvin rang up $250,000, according to court documents.

Then there was a pit stop at luxury goods store Hermes, where the ambassador is reported to have picked up a watch and a Birkin handbag in crocodile skin, which set him back by almost $28,000.

He was fortunate to get his hands on the Birkin. Demand for the bag, reported to be Victoria Beckham's favorite, is so high that even the waiting list for it is now closed.

Cutlery bought at the Paris shops Curty & Fils and Laguiole cost him nearly $34,000.

But of all the luxury goods listed in the expense reports filed by el Hage, watches seemed to be the ambassador's favorite. He reportedly purchased 43 watches in a mere 18 months.

The shopping list included two Patek Philippe pocket watches costing $64,000, a Cartier watch priced at $40,110 and a Bulgari watch costing more than $100,000.

But this was small change compared to the three Jaeger Le Coultre watches, which set the ambassador, or rather, el Hage, back by $111,334.

The ambassador is reputed to have spent more than $700,000 on watches during 2004 and 2005.

A trip to Vienna's famed Swarovski boutique for a pair of binoculars ran up bills in the region of $25,000.

Boys and Their Toys

Then there was the ambassador's supposed fondness for cars and motorbikes. El Hage reportedly paid more than $25,000 for a fleet of Yamaha grizzly and Big Bear quad bikes, bought on the ambassador's behalf.

In addition, the ambassador is said to have spent more than $67,000 on two Chevrolet sport utility vehicles and almost $200,000 on a rally car called the Wildcat African Raid, according to the expense report filed by el Hage.

No expense was spared when it came to the ambassador's Hummer H2 SUV either. Purchase and freight charges to have five Raytheon thermal night-vision cameras for the Hummer delivered from the United States came to a whopping $183,000.

Other purchases include a large selection of guns, ranging from a Beretta pistol costing more than $10,000, a French Famas assault rifle, nine Steyr pistols, two Czech CZ75D and CZ97B pistols, as well as a Micro-Uzi machine gun of Israeli origin.

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