- Title: FILE: Supermodel Naomi Campbell to testify about 'blood diamond'
- Date: 2nd July 2010
- Summary: CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA (FEBRUARY 13, 1998) (REUTERS) NELSON MANDELA PAYING TRIBUTE TO CAMPBELL WHO CRIES; MANDELA AND CAMPBELL HUG
- Embargoed: 17th July 2010 13:00
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz
- Reuters ID: LVA5JECERRUFNX7OIV6DUPTNTQ3C
- Story Text: Prosecutors want Naomi Campbell to testify over a diamond they allege ex-Liberian leader Charles Taylor gave her. She was due to appear in court on July 29, but on July 16 asked for a later date.
The prosecution has said Campbell could provide material evidence to rebut Taylor's claims that he never possessed rough diamonds. They accuse Taylor of taking diamonds to South Africa to buy weapons, which he denies.
In January, prosecutors said that during a visit to South Africa in 1997, Taylor gave Campbell a large rough cut diamond after a dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela.
A spokeswoman for Campbell confirmed she had agreed to provide testimony but stressed Campbell was a witness who had only been asked to help clarify events.
"For avoidance of doubt she is not being accused of any wrongdoing and is not on trial," the spokeswoman said.
In April this year Campbell walked out of an ABC News interview when asked whether she was given a diamond by Charles Taylor. The model refused to answer any questions on the subject.
Actress Mia Farrow is expected to testify on Monday (August 9) that she has knowledge of Campbell having been given the diamond.
On trial in The Hague, Taylor denies all 11 charges of instigating murder, rape, mutilation, sexual slavery and conscription of child soldiers during wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone in which more than 250,000 people were killed.
"Blood", or conflict diamonds have funded wars in countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Angola and the Congo.
In 2003, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme was set up with the aim to stop altogether the trade in "blood" or "conflict diamonds".
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