Campbell admits receiving uncut diamonds

18:39, August 05, 2010      

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British supermodel Naomi Campbell is seen on a screen in the pressroom of the U.N.-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in Leidschendam August 5, 2010. Campbell, testifying at the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor, said on Thursday she had been given a pouch containing diamonds while in South Africa in 1997. The court did not give permission to take photos of Campbell inside the courtroom. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Supermodel Naomi Campbell testified in the trial of former Liberian ruler Charles Taylor in the Hagueon Thursday that she received a gift of an uncut diamond or diamonds, but without saying they were diamonds or given by Taylor himself, according to AP report.

The Streatham-born supermodel, who appeared at the court surrounded by police escort, is claimed by actress Mia Farrowto to have received an uncut diamond or diamonds from the then recently elected leader in September 1997.

The prosecutors accused Taylor, now 62, of obtaining illegally mined diamonds in Sierra Leonefrom Revolutionary United Front rebels, smuggling them over the border and arming the rebels in return, according to the guardian.co.uk report.

Prosecutors say Campbell's testimony could provide evidence he received diamonds from Sierra Leonerebels in exchange for weapons during that country's 1992-2002 civil war.

The 40-year-old supermodel said she was awakened in the middle of the night and offered a pouch. She didn't look at it until the following morning and found some small dirty-looking stones in it, according to the AP report.

Campbell was quoted by the AP that she gave the stones to a friend who did charity work in South Africa after being told by Farrow that the rocks must be diamonds given by Taylor as gift.

Taylor is accused of being behind war crimes during Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war while he was president of neighboring Liberia.

On trial in The Hague, along with the claims of his gift to Campbell, Taylor denied all charges against him.

Source: Xinhua/Agencies

(Editor:燕勐)

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