Naomi Campbell Subpoenaed to Testify About Blood Diamond
Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been summoned to testify in court later this month as part of an ongoing war crimes trial over a "blood diamond" she was allegedly given by former Liberian president Charles Taylor.
The British beauty has become embroiled in a court case at The Hague involving 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 Campbell to be subpoenaed to testify - a request opposed by her lawyers and the legal team representing Taylor.
In a recent interview, Campbell confessed she was worried 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."
But a ruling given on Wednesday, June 30 granted prosecutors' request for a subpoena compelling Campbell to testify. The decision also allowed authorities to call on actress Mia Farrow and Campbell's former agent Carole White, both of whom were present at Mandela's dinner party.
The Special Court for Sierra Leone, based at The Hague, has now ruled Campbell will be called as a witness on July 29. If Campbell fails to appear in court, she could be sentenced to up to seven years in jail as punishment, according to the subpoena.
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