Naomi must come clean about blood diamond

Prosecutors say that, during a visit to South Africa in 1997, the ex-president of Liberia  gave Campbell a large rough cut diamond following a dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela

British supermodel Naomi Campbell will be subpoenaed to give evidence over a “blood diamond” that prosecutors say she was given by former Liberian president Charles Taylor, by the Sierra Leone war crimes court.

Prosecutors at the Special Court for Sierra Leone first sought in May to call Campbell - but she has so far refused to testify.

The prosecutors say she can provide “material evidence” to rebut Taylor’s claims that he never possessed rough diamonds.

In a ruling this week, the court granted authority to the prosecution team to present testimony from Campbell,  as well as modelling agent Carole White and US actress Mia Farrow, saying this must be done as soon as possible before the close of the defence’s case.

Prosecutors say that, during a visit to South Africa in 1997, the ex-president of Liberia  gave Campbell a large rough cut diamond following a dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela.

Prosecutors say White heard Taylor say he was going to give Campbell some diamonds and was there when Campbell received them, while Farrow attended the reception where Campbell met Taylor and was told by Campbell about the gift the next morning.

The prosecutors accuse Taylor of taking diamonds to South Africa to buy weapons. Taylor has denied the allegations relating to the diamonds.

ABUSES IN SIERRA LEONE

On trial in The Hague, Taylor also denies all 11 charges of instigating murder, rape, mutilation, sexual slavery and conscription of child soldiers during wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone in which more than 250,000 people were killed.

Prosecutors say Taylor armed and directed Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels to win control of neighbouring Sierra Leone’s diamond mines and destabilise its government to boost his regional influence during the country’s 1991-2002 civil war.

A spokeswoman in London said Campbell had no comment to make on the ruling at this stage.

 

 

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