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Naomi Campbell Called to Testify in War Crimes Trial

July 1, 2010 (3:40 am) GMT
Along with actress Mia Farrow, the supermodel is asked by judge to appear in court as a witness in a case involving former Liberian president Charles Taylor.
Naomi Campbell

A court in the Netherlands has ruled supermodel can be called to testify as part of an ongoing war crimes trial. The British beauty has become embroiled in a court case at The Hague involving former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who has pleaded not guilty to a series of charges, including murder, torture and terrorism, stemming from Sierra Leone's 1991-2002 civil war.

The disgraced ex-leader has also been accused of handing Campbell a 'blood diamond' - a term for jewels sold to finance conflicts - in 1997 after a dinner party in South Africa, hosted by then-president Nelson Mandela. Prosecutors asked for the catwalk star to be subpoenaed to testify, but the request was opposed by her lawyers and the legal team representing Taylor.

In a recent interview, Campbell confessed she was worried about about her safety if she was called to testify in the trial, telling Oprah Winfrey, "I don't want to be involved in this man's case; he has done some terrible things and I don't want to go and put my family in danger."

However, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, based at The Hague, has now ruled Campbell can be called as a witness, along with actress , who was also present at Mandela's dinner party. The ruling, given on Wednesday, June 30, reads, "The trial chamber hereby grants the motion. The trial chamber is of the view that the best procedure is to allow the prosecution to reopen its case so that the additional prosecution witnesses can be interposed between defense witnesses."

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