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Naomi Campbell to testify in war trial

Press Trust Of India
Jul 11, 2010 at 11:21am IST

Washington: British supermodel Naomi Campbell has agreed to appear before the war crimes tribunal of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

According to a statement from her representative, the 40-year-old runway beauty has been called as "a witness" and "is not being accused of any wrongdoing and is not on trial", CNN reported.

Campbell had previously said she did not want to be involved in the war crimes trial. But on July 1, the court issued a subpoena ordering her appearance.

The British supermodel has agreed to appear before the war crimes tribunal of ex-Liberian President Taylor.

The model faced a prison term of up to seven years, a fine of about $ 500, or both, if she failed to appear.

Taylor, 62, faces war crimes charges over a brutal conflict in Sierra Leone that was fueled by rough diamonds that also known as blood diamonds or conflict diamonds.

Prosecutors had rested their case in February 2009, but they asked to reopen it specifically to call Campbell, as well as actress Mia Farrow and a witness named Carole Taylor.

According to the prosecutors, they had learned that the former president had given the supermodel a diamond in South Africa in 1997 and that Farrow had confirmed it.

When arguing to reopen the case, prosecutors said Campbell's testimony would prove that Taylor "used rough diamonds for personal enrichment and arms purchases."

Taylor is charged with five counts of crimes against humanity, including murder, sexual slavery and violence, and enslavement. He also faces five counts of war crimes, including acts of terrorism and torture, and one count of other serious violations of international humanitarian law. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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