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Naomi Campbell at war crimes trial

Supermodel Naomi Campbell has told the war crimes trial of Charles Taylor that she was woken in the night and given a pouch containing "small, dirty looking stones" after a charity dinner.

Giving evidence to the trial in The Hague, Netherlands, Campbell said she met Taylor for the first time during a meal in September 1997.

She told the court that 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.

The model told the court she discussed the incident with fellow guests the next morning and was told: "That's obviously Charles Taylor."

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

The 40-year-old model, from Streatham, south London, refused to take part in the trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague until she was issued with a subpoena. The model told the court she had not wanted to attend the hearing and described it as an "inconvenience".

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."

Campbell said she was told the stones were "probably" diamonds but did not know for sure. She said she "assumed" they were a gift from Taylor.

Campbell said she had "read up" on Taylor using the internet and learned that he had supposedly "killed thousands of people". "I don't want my family in danger in any way," she said.

The prosecutor suggested that Campbell had not been "entirely truthful" during her evidence because she was "in fear of Charles Taylor".

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