Monday, August 9, 2010

BBC News-Former Agent Says Campbell Received Blood Diamonds

Carol White:BBC News   
(Story reported by BBC News)

Ex-Liberian President Charles Taylor gave Naomi Campbell diamonds after a 1997 dinner in South Africa, the supermodel's former agent Carole White has told Mr Taylor's war-crimes trial.

She said Mr Taylor had promised the model the diamonds during the meal.

The account contradicts evidence given by Ms Campbell, who said she did not know who had given her the gems.

Prosecutors say Mr Taylor traded with rebels in Sierra Leone, giving them weapons in return for diamonds.

Tens of thousands of people died in interlinked conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia in the 1980s and 1990s.

Mr Taylor denies 11 charges at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, sitting in The Hague, and he has denied having anything to do with the trade in so-called blood diamonds.

According to Ms White, Mr Taylor and Ms Campbell had been "mildly flirtatious" with each other at the 1997 dinner in South Africa, hosted by Nelson Mandela who was the country's president at the time.

Mr Taylor told the supermodel during dinner that he would send some men to give her diamonds, Ms White told the hearing.

(click here to read the full story on the BBC News website)

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