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Model agent to testify that Naomi Campbell knew dictator gifted blood diamonds


August 7, 2010/1.48

Court papers show that modelling agent Carole White is due to tell a war crimes’ tribunal in Den Haag on Monday morning that Naomi Campbell knew that Liberian dictator Charles Taylor had gifted the supermodel blood diamonds after a charity dinner in 1997.
   Campbell had admitted at the tribunal that she was presented with the stones in the middle of the night after the charity event, but that she did not know whom the gifter was.
   She claimed she had the stones for six hours before she handed them to Jeremy Ractliffe, who formerly headed Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund.
   Ractliffe told the war crimes’ tribunal, where Taylor, 62, is being tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity, that he received the stones from Campbell. He testified that he passed them on to police.
   White had earlier told prosecutors that Taylor and Campbell had casually flirted at the charity dinner hosted by President Mandela, and had discussed the gift.
   White said that Campbell ‘seemed excited about the diamonds and she kept talking about them.’
   Actress Mia Farrow, also present the dinner, will testify after White.
   Taylor is accused of receiving blood diamonds to arm his rebels, who committed war crimes and horrors against the Liberian people.

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