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Bid to delay supermodel evidence

Lawyers defending former Liberian President Charles Taylor have filed an urgent motion in an attempt to delay supermodel Naomi Campbell giving evidence.

Taylor's defence filed the motion because they have not been provided with a summary of Campbell's testimony ahead of her appearance in court, according to a spokesman for the Special Court of Sierra Leone, which is trying the case in The Hague.

Campbell, 40, from Streatham, south London, is due to give evidence on Thursday over claims she accepted a rough diamond from the former warlord after a party hosted by Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1997.

A decision on the motion for a "stay of testimony" is not expected until midday on Wednesday.

Campbell's evidence has already been delayed once and she initially refused to participate in the trial.

She has enlisted the services of Lord Macdonald, the former director of public prosecutions, who last week filed a motion for "protective measures".

The application for the measures, which are usually reserved for witnesses at risk of revenge attacks, reportedly requests members of the public and media not to follow, photograph or video the model on her way to and from the court.

Documents handed to the court state that the judge may "order appropriate measures to safeguard the privacy and security of victims and witnesses".

Taylor is charged with 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers.

The 62-year-old is accused of arming and controlling Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a rebel force responsible for widespread atrocities.

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