Model Naomi Campbell will be summoned to testify at the trial for former Liberian president Charles Taylor for his alleged war crimes, according to ABC News. Campbell, 40, is expected to address the allegation that she was the recipient of "blood diamonds" (gems mined under violent conditions) as a gift from Taylor, during a dinner at Nelson Mandela's home in 1997.
Taylor is charged with 11 counts of murder, torture, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers and terrorism in his role backing rebels in Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war.
Actress Mia Farrow will also be summoned to testify. Farrow previously revealed in a written statement to the court that Campbell had told her about two men waking her in the middle of the night to present her with a huge diamond, which they said was from Taylor. Campbell's former agent, Carole White, also being called to testify, told prosecutors that Campbell had actually received several diamonds from Taylor on the evening in question.
But the question is, will Campbell comply? In April, the supermodel angrily stormed out
of an ABC News interview, telling the reporter, "I'm not going to speak about that," when asked about Taylor and the diamonds. Now, if Campbell does not appear in court, she could be held in contempt.
The prosecution in the case reportedly hope Campbell, Farrow and White's testimony will prove that Taylor dealt in "blood diamonds," while supporting rebel neighbors. As the Associated Press
notes, "Prosecutors say Campbell's testimony would provide 'direct evidence of the accused's possession of rough diamonds from a witness unrelated to the Liberian or Sierra Leone conflicts.'"
Taylor's lawyers are arguing that summoning Campbell and the other women is "an obvious publicity stunt," and that it's too late to introduce new evidence.
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