Belfast Telegraph

Naomi accused over trial evidence

Naomi Campbell was accused of being not "entirely truthful" after telling the war crimes trial of Charles Taylor how she was woken in the night and given a pouch containing "small, dirty-looking stones" following a charity dinner.

Giving evidence to the court in The Hague, Netherlands, the supermodel described the proceedings as a "big inconvenience" and said she feared they would put her family in danger.

She told how two men knocked on her door in the middle of night as she stayed at the home of former South African president Nelson Mandela and presented her with a pouch containing gems.

Naomi is alleged to have received the gift after a star-studded party hosted by Mr Mandela in South Africa in September 1997.

The model said she discussed the incident with fellow guests the morning after the charity dinner and was told: "That's obviously Charles Taylor."

The model is said to have received a "blood diamond" from Taylor, whose denies charges including criminal responsibility for murder, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers.

Speaking in detail about the gift for the first time, Campbell told the court that she was woken by two strangers and handed a pouch. Asked what she thought the gift was, she said: "They were dirty-looking pebbles. I'm used to seeing diamonds, shiny and in a box."

The 40-year-old catwalk star had refused to take part in the trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague until she was issued with a subpoena.

Prosecutor Brenda Hollis questioned Campbell's account. She asked the model: "Isn't it correct that your account today is not entirely truthful because of fear of Charles Taylor?"

Campbell replied: "No, that's not correct."

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