Did Naomi Campbell Receive Blood Diamonds From Liberia’s Dictator?

A special court of Sierra Leone is moving forward to subpoena British supermodel Noami Campbell following credible evidence that she received blood diamonds as a gift from Liberia former president Charles Taylor. Taylor is on trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity that occurred during the civil war in Sierra Leone which took place in the country from 1991 to 2001.

The specific charges against Taylor are five counts of war crimes such as terrorizing civilians, murder, outrage on personal dignity, cruel treatment and looting; five counts of crimes against humanity with murder, rape, sexual slavery, mutilating and beating, enslavement and recruiting and using child soldiers.

According to a prosecution motion filed with the special court and obtained by Agence France Presse, the prosecution has enough evidence to subpoena the supermodel.

“Ms Campbell’s testimony is necessary as there is evidence that Ms Campbell was given a rough diamond by Taylor in September 1997. Ms Campbell’s anticipated evidence constitutes a central issue in the case: Taylor’s possession of rough diamonds,” says the prosecution motion according to AFP.

In January, the special court found compelling evidence that Campbell was given a rough diamond by Taylor in South Africa after a 1997 dinner hosted by former South Africa leader Nelson Mandela. Prosecutor Brenda Holliss, after a cross examination of Taylor held in January, asserted that he had brought rough diamonds, obtained from rebels in Sierra Leone, to South Africa where he was planning to sell them or exchange them for weapons.

Taylor has been on trial since January 2008, and has pleaded not guilty, despite countless evidence, to charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Taylor was funding the war in Sierra Leone by giving the rebels of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) weapons in exchange for rough diamonds called “blood diamonds” because they were sold to finance one of the bloodiest civil war in Africa. The RUF killed at least 120,000 people and butchered thousands by cutting off their arms or legs with machete.

The issue of blood diamonds was brought to the attention of the international community in large part by the Hollywood film “Blood Diamonds” staring Leonardo Di Caprio. Campbell, which is well known for her erratic behavior, was asked by ABC whether she had received blood diamonds from Taylor but quickly stormed out of the interview after she was questioned if she had dinner with Taylor.

“I did not receive a diamond, and I am not going to speak about that,” Campbell told ABC.

While the motivation of Taylor for given Noami Campbell a diamond was obviously to seek sexual favors from the supermodel, what is rather disturbing and mystifying is that Nelson Mandela would host Liberia’s dictator and that Ms Campbell, providing the allegations are true, accepted such a poison gift. Blood diamonds are definitely not a supermodel best friend.

To find out more about Charles Taylor’s on going trial click here.


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