Belfast Telegraph

Naomi Campbell to testify in trial

Supermodel Naomi Campbell will give evidence in the war crimes trial of former president of Liberia Charles Taylor, her spokeswoman has said.

Campbell was allegedly given "rough diamonds" by Taylor shortly after he became president in 1997, during a function held in South Africa by Nelson Mandela.

Taylor faces an 11-count indictment for crimes against humanity in the trial, which began at the International Criminal Court in The Hague but was then moved to nearby Leidschendam.

The spokeswoman said: "Naomi Campbell has confirmed she will attend the Charles Taylor trial at The Hague as per the court's request. She is a witness who has been asked to help clarify events in 1997. Miss Campbell has made it clear that she is willing to help the due process of law.

"For avoidance of doubt she is not being accused of any wrongdoing and is not on trial."

A spokesman for the Special Court for Sierra Leone previously said Campbell had refused to give evidence to prosecutors and denied being given such diamonds.

It is alleged Taylor had a role in the brutal civil war in Sierra Leone by supporting rebels there.

He is alleged to have been involved in the export from Liberia of "blood diamonds", illegally mined by rebels in Sierra Leone, and it is said that he used the proceeds from their sale to buy weapons for the rebels. He denies all the charges against him.

The trial started on January 7 2008 and a judgment may not take place until early next year.


From Belfast Telegraph