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  1. #1
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    Naomi Campbell testifies in blood diamond case

    5 August 2010 Last updated at 11:02 GMT

    Naomi Campbell tells Taylor trial of 'dirty stones'


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    Campbell was given a few 'dirty-looking stones' in a pouch

    Model Naomi Campbell says she was given "dirty-looking" stones after a dinner attended by ex-Liberian leader Charles Taylor which she was later told were likely to be diamonds.
    She was testifying at Mr Taylor's war crimes trial about allegations he gave her "blood diamonds" as a gift in 1997.
    Charles Taylor



    Prosecutors had said her evidence could help link Mr Taylor to the stones, which he is accused of using to fund civil war in Sierra Leone.
    Mr Taylor denies the charges.
    He says he never sold or traded diamonds for weapons.
    Celebrity dinner
    Ms Campbell, who was late appearing in the courtroom, swore on a Bible before beginning her testimony.
    Ms Campbell said she was given two or three unprocessed stones after a celebrity dinner in South Africa, hosted by former South African President Nelson Mandela and attended by US actress Mia Farrow and others, including Mr Taylor.
    Before meeting him, she had not heard of Mr Taylor or of Liberia.
    She said she was sleeping in her room that night when there was a knock at the door.
    "Two men were there and gave me a pouch and said: 'A gift for you'," she said.
    Analysis

    Continue reading the main story Martin Plaut Africa analyst, BBC News
    Wearing a demure cream dress, Naomi Campbell was cool and confident as she gave her evidence, but her evidence is very different from the clear testimony the prosecution wanted from their star witness.
    It is critical for their case that they link Charles Taylor to the diamonds - the jewels that fuelled Sierra Leone's brutal civil war.

    The men did not introduce themselves. She said she put the pouch next to her bed without looking inside it, and went back to sleep.
    "I opened the pouch the next morning when I woke up... I saw a few stones in there, they were very small dirty-looking stones," she told the court. There was no explanation and no note, she said.
    "The next morning at breakfast I told Ms Farrow and [her former agent Carole White] what had happened and one of the two said 'That's obviously Charles Taylor', and I said 'I guess that was'."
    She said that at the time, she was not aware of any laws on unprocessed diamonds.
    She gave the stones to Jeremy Ratcliffe of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund because she wanted them to go to charity, and said when she spoke to Mr Ratcliffe on the telephone in 2009, he said he still had them.
    Continue reading the main story “Start Quote

    I didn't really want to be here. I was made to be here... This is a big inconvenience for me”
    End Quote Naomi Campbell
    In a letter presented in court by the defence, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund said it had "never received a diamond or diamonds from Ms Campbell or from anyone else. It would have been improper and illegal to have done so."
    Ms Campbell told the defence lawyer, Courtenay Griffiths, she did not sit next to Mr Taylor at the dinner party, contrary to a statement given by her former agent Carole White.
    In her statement to the court, Ms White said Miss Campbell and Mr Taylor were mildly flirtatious with each other throughout the dinner.
    Mr Griffiths said: "The witness (Ms White) heard Mr Taylor tell Miss Campbell that he was going to send her diamonds. Taylor and his people were staying some distance away, so it was arranged that he would send some men back with the gift. Is that true or false?"
    "That's not true at all," Ms Campbell said.
    Mr Griffiths said that Ms White said Ms Campbell was excited by the idea of getting diamonds from Mr Taylor, but Ms Campbell denied this.
    Ms White and Ms Campbell are involved in a legal dispute, Mr Griffiths said. "This is a woman who has a power motive to lie about you?" he asked. "Correct," Ms Campbell answered.
    Subpoena
    The prosecutor said Ms Campbell was answering questions before they were finished, and asked her if she was nervous.

    "No, well, I didn't really want to be here. I was made to be here," she answered.
    "So obviously I'm just like wanting to get this over with and get on with my life. This is a big inconvenience for me."
    She said she had previously denied having the stones as she feared for her family because Mr Taylor was "someone I read on the internet has killed thousands of people, supposedly".
    Supermodel Naomi Campbell

    Continue reading the main story
    • Born in London, UK, in 1970 of Caribbean and Chinese descent
    • Became one of the world's highest-paid models after being discovered as a schoolgirl
    • Appeared on the cover of Elle magazine aged 15
    • Has promoted top fashion brands and launched her own perfume line
    • In 2008, she was sentenced to 200 hours community service in the UK for assaulting two police officers on a plane at Heathrow Airport
    • In 2009, she settled a legal case with a former maid who accused the supermodel of assaulting her. Ms Campbell denied the claims.

    Allegations that the rough, uncut gemstones were given to Ms Campbell emerged in a statement by Mia Farrow.
    So-called blood diamonds are stones mined in areas controlled by rebel armies, and used to fund their violence.
    Ms Campbell was a reluctant witness and was subpoenaed to appear by prosecutors or risk contempt of court charges.
    In April, she told ABC news in the US that she "never received a diamond" from Mr Taylor and did not want want to talk about it. Later, she told US talk show host Oprah Winfrey that she did not want to be involved in Mr Taylor's case and feared for her safety if she were.
    Her management company later released a statement confirming she would attend "to help clarify events in 1997".
    Ms Campbell has obtained a court order banning the media from showing images of her within the confines of the court building, although the proceedings were televised.
    War crimes
    Mr Taylor, 62, is suspected of selling diamonds to buy weapons for Sierra Leone's RUF rebels, who were notorious for hacking off the hands and legs of civilians during the 1991-2001 civil war.
    The trial is in the defence phase, with only a few witnesses remaining to testify. The prosecution rested in February 2009 after calling 91 witnesses, but obtained special permission to re-open their case to present new evidence.

  2. #2
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    the real question is why all those celebrities were there with Taylor or why he was invited

  3. #3
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    The real question is why did they only invite "Fish and Chips" when Mandela the Terrorist was there (where the firearms came from) , Imran Khan (Muslim Hospital Sponsor) , his Greek Wife at the time etc etc etc

    More waste of Euro's (to be fair the Brits are chipping into the legal bills)

  4. #4
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    The real question is why are they all wearing clothes made out of appaling curtain materials?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerbil View Post
    The real question is why are they all wearing clothes made out of appaling curtain materials?

    A nigger inquest, the judges do not have to bother Versace.

  6. #6
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    Mandela charity trustee resigns over Campbell diamonds



    Mr Ractliffe said he had kept the diamonds in order to protect the reputation of Nelson Mandela

    The former head of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, Jeremy Ractliffe, has resigned from the charity's board after admitting he secretly kept diamonds received from the model Naomi Campbell.

    Mr Ractliffe admitted he had the gems only when Ms Campbell mentioned him at the war crimes trial of former Liberian leader Charles Taylor two weeks ago.
    Prosecutors say she received the diamonds from Mr Taylor in 1997.
    Mr Ractliffe had apologised for his secrecy, the charity's board said.
    Continue reading the main story Charles Taylor



    The former chief executive handed the diamonds over to South African police after Campbell testified that she had given three stones to Ractliffe because she wanted them to go to charity.
    Mr Ractliffe said he had kept the stones, which could link him to illegal "blood diamonds", because he wanted to protect the reputation of Mr Mandela and his charity.
    Stepping down from his role as trustee, Mr Ractliffe apologised for causing "possible reputational risk" to the charity by not informing his colleagues of his receipt of the diamonds, the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund said in a statement.
    'Suggestion'
    At the trial, Ms Campbell said she was given some "dirty-looking stones" after a 1997 charity dinner hosted by South Africa's former President Nelson Mandela where Mr Taylor was also a guest.
    She said two unidentified men appeared at her room and gave her the stones.
    She told the court she did not have proof they came from Mr Taylor and had given them to Mr Ractliffe because she wanted the stones to go to charity.
    Continue reading the main story Charles Taylor


    • 1997: Elected Liberian president
    • 2003: Arrest warrant issued, steps down, goes into exile in Nigeria
    • 2006: Arrested, sent to Sierra Leone
    • 2007: Trial opens in The Hague

    "Naomi suggested they could be of some benefit to the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund - but I told her I would not involve the NMCF in anything that could possibly be illegal," Mr Ractliffe said in a statement two weeks ago.
    He said he took the diamonds as he thought it might be illegal for her to take them out of the country.
    "In the end I decided I should just keep them," he added.
    Mr Taylor is accused of using illegally mined diamonds to secure weapons for Sierra Leone's RUF rebels during the 1991-2001 civil war - a charge he denies.
    Prosecutors say that from his seat of power in Liberia, Mr Taylor also trained and commanded the rebels.
    The rebels were notoriously brutal, frequently hacking off the hands and legs of civilians.

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