- West Africa
- United Kingdom
- Conflicts - Justice
Naomi Campbell refuses to testify against former Liberian leader?
English supermodel Naomi Campbell would not testify in The Hague trial of former Liberian leader, Charles Taylor, for fear of endangering her family. Ms. Campbell is believed to know about Mr. Taylor’s blood diamond trade, having, reportedly, received some rough diamonds from him.
"I don’t want to be involved in this man’s case. He has done some terrible things, and I don’t want to put my family in danger," Naomi Campbell said during an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show earlier this month.
The former Liberian leader is facing trial for charges including using "blood diamonds" to fuel an insurgency in Sierra Leone that led to the deaths of thousands.
Prosecutors at the Hague trial have said a writ requiring appearance in court to give testimony is to be presented to the Ms. Campbell who they believe received rough diamonds from Mr. Taylor in 1997 at Nelson Mandela’s house in South Africa.
According to a prosecution motion filed with the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Mr. Taylor is accused of selling rough diamonds and buying weapons for Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels, who were notorious for hacking off the hands and legs of civilians during the brutal 1991-2001 civil war.
Mr. Taylor has pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from the 10-year war in Sierra Leone, and has dismissed the claims of his diamond dealings as "total nonsense".
However, the media claim that he had given Ms. Campbell a "large" diamond after a 1997 dinner hosted by former South African President Nelson Mandela may prove to be his hanging loop.
A guest at the 1997 Mandela dinner- U.S. actress Mia Farrow also confirmed the allegations and a has told the court that she is willing to testify if needed.
Ms. Farrow told ABC news that Ms. Campbell said she had been visited by representatives of Mr Taylor during the night, and that they had given her a "huge" uncut diamond.
"You don’t forget when a girlfriend tells you she was given a huge diamond in the middle of the night," Ms. Farrow was quoted.
Ms. Campbell has declined repeated requests to be interviewed, and continues to decline to provide testimony to prosecutors.